VAMP-2 is a surrogate cerebrospinal fluid marker of Alzheimer-related cognitive impairment in adults with Down syndrome

Alberto Lleó, Maria Carmona-Iragui, Laura Videla, Susana Fernández, Bessy Benejam, Jordi Pegueroles, Isabel Barroeta, Miren Altuna, Silvia Valldeneu, Mei Fang Xiao, Desheng Xu, Raúl Núñez-Llaves, Marta Querol-Vilaseca, Sònia Sirisi, Alexandre Bejanin, M. Florencia Iulita, Jordi Clarimón, Rafael Blesa, Paul Worley, Daniel AlcoleaJuan Fortea, Olivia Belbin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: There is an urgent need for objective markers of Alzheimer’s disease (AD)-related cognitive impairment in people with Down syndrome (DS) to improve diagnosis, monitor disease progression, and assess response to disease-modifying therapies. Previously, GluA4 and neuronal pentraxin 2 (NPTX2) showed limited potential as cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) markers of cognitive impairment in adults with DS. Here, we compare the CSF profile of a panel of synaptic proteins (Calsyntenin-1, Neuroligin-2, Neurexin-2A, Neurexin-3A, Syntaxin-1B, Thy-1, VAMP-2) to that of NPTX2 and GluA4 in a large cohort of subjects with DS across the preclinical and clinical AD continuum and explore their correlation with cognitive impairment. Methods: We quantified the synaptic panel proteins by selected reaction monitoring in CSF from 20 non-trisomic cognitively normal controls (mean age 44) and 80 adults with DS grouped according to clinical AD diagnosis (asymptomatic, prodromal AD or AD dementia). We used regression analyses to determine CSF changes across the AD continuum and explored correlations with age, global cognitive performance (CAMCOG), episodic memory (modified cued-recall test; mCRT) and CSF biomarkers, CSF Aβ42:40 ratio, CSF Aβ1-42, CSF p-tau, and CSF NFL. P values were adjusted for multiple testing. Results: In adults with DS, VAMP-2 was the only synaptic protein to correlate with episodic memory (delayed recall adj.p =.04) and age (adj.p =.0008) and was the best correlate of CSF Aβ42:40 (adj.p =.0001), p-tau (adj.p <.0001), and NFL (adj.p <.0001). Compared to controls, mean VAMP-2 levels were lower in asymptomatic adults with DS only (adj.p =.02). CSF levels of Neurexin-3A, Thy-1, Neurexin-2A, Calysntenin-1, Neuroligin-2, GluA4, and Syntaxin-1B all strongly correlated with NPTX2 (p <.0001), which was the only synaptic protein to show reduced CSF levels in DS at all AD stages compared to controls (adj.p <.002). Conclusion: These data show proof-of-concept for CSF VAMP-2 as a potential marker of synapse degeneration that correlates with CSF AD and axonal degeneration markers and cognitive performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number119
JournalAlzheimer's Research and Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Biomarker
  • Cognitive decline
  • Down syndrome
  • Synapse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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