Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is an inherited autosomal-dominant condition that induces altered splicing of transcripts, including MAPT, leading to a distinctive abnormal deposition of tau protein in the CNS. We characterized the tau isoforms of abnormal depositions in the brains of 4 patients with classic DM1 by immunohistochemistry using isoform-specific antibodies. All patients, including those of presenile age, showed numerous neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) of both 3-repeat and 4-repeat tau in the limbic area and mild involvement in the cerebral cortex. Amyloid-β deposition was only seen in 1 senile case while cortical tauopathy in all other cases was consistent with primary age-related tauopathy (PART). In the putamen and globus pallidus, only a few tau deposits were observed. Tau deposits in the brainstem frequently showed a DM1-specific pattern with 3-repeat tau dominant NFTs. Additionally, tau-positive astrocytes morphologically similar to tufted astrocytes and astrocytic plaques were occasionally observed in the brainstem; however, they were predominantly composed of 3-repeat tau. Thus, the classic DM1 showed both early onset of PART-like pathology in the limbic areas as a progeroid syndrome of DM1 and an abnormal splicing event in the brainstem leading to 3-repeat tau dominant accumulation with both neuronal and astrocytic involvement.
|Number of pages
|Journal of neuropathology and experimental neurology
|Published - Dec 19 2022
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