Stepler KE, Mahoney ER, Kofler J, Hohman TJ, Lopez OL, Robinson RAS. Inclusion of African American/Black adults in a pilot brain proteomics study of Alzheimer's disease. Neurobiology of Disease. 2020 Dec;146(146). 105129 p. PMID: 33049317 [PubMed]
Alzheimer's disease (AD) disproportionately affects certain racial and ethnic subgroups, such as African American/Black and Hispanic adults. Genetic, comorbid, and socioeconomic risk factors contribute to this disparity; however, the molecular contributions have been largely unexplored. Herein, we conducted a pilot proteomics study of postmortem brains from African American/Black and non-Hispanic White adults neuropathologically diagnosed with AD compared to closely-matched cognitively normal individuals. Examination of hippocampus, inferior parietal lobule, and globus pallidus regions using quantitative proteomics resulted in 568 differentially-expressed proteins in AD. These proteins were consistent with the literature and included glial fibrillary acidic protein, peroxiredoxin-1, and annexin A5. In addition, 351 novel proteins in AD were identified, which could partially be due to cohort diversity. From linear regression analyses, we identified 185 proteins with significant race x diagnosis interactions across various brain regions. These differences generally were reflective of differential expression of proteins in AD that occurred in only a single racial/ethnic group. Overall, this pilot study suggests that disease understanding can be furthered by including diversity in racial/ethnic groups; however, this must be done on a larger scale.