TDP-43-immunoreactive pathology in frontotemporal lobar degeneration with TDP proteinopathy (FTLD-TDP) with and without associated motor neuron disease (MND)

R.A. Armstrong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


A proportion of patients with motor neuron disease (MND) exhibit frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and some patients with FTD develop the clinical features of MND. Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) is the pathological substrate of FTD and some forms of this disease (referred to as FTLD-U) share with MND the common feature of ubiquitin-immunoreactive, tau-negative cellular inclusions in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus. Recently, the transactive response (TAR) DNA-binding protein of 43 kDa (TDP-43) has been found to be a major protein of the inclusions of FTLD-U with or without MND and these cases are referred to as FTLD with TDP-43 proteinopathy (FTLD-TDP). To clarify the relationship between MND and FTLD-TDP, TDP-43 pathology was studied in nine cases of FTLD-MND and compared with cases of familial and sporadic FTLD-TDP without associated MND. A principal components analysis (PCA) of the nine FTLD-MND cases suggested that variations in the density of surviving neurons in the frontal cortex and neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions (NCI) in the dentate gyrus (DG) were the major histological differences between cases. The density of surviving neurons in FTLD-MND was significantly less than in FTLD-TDP cases without MND, and there were greater densities of NCI but fewer neuronal intranuclear inclusions (NII) in some brain regions in FTLD-MND. A PCA of all FTLD-TDP cases, based on TDP-43 pathology alone, suggested that neuropathological heterogeneity was essentially continuously distributed. The FTLD-MND cases exhibited consistently high loadings on PC2 and overlapped with subtypes 2 and 3 of FTLD-TDP. The data suggest: (1) FTLD-MND cases have a consistent pathology, variations in the density of NCI in the DG being the major TDP-43-immunoreactive difference between cases, (2) there are considerable similarities in the neuropathology of FTLD-TDP with and without MND, but with greater neuronal loss in FTLD-MND, and (3) FTLD-MND cases are part of the FTLD-TDP 'continuum' overlapping with FTLD-TDP disease subtypes 2 and 3.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMotor neuron diseases
Subtitle of host publicationcauses, classification and treatments
EditorsBradley J. Turner, Julie B. Atkin
PublisherNova science
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-61470-141-5
ISBN (Print)978-1-6147-0101-9, 978-1-63117-342-4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012

Publication series

NameNeurology - Laboratory and clinical research developments


  • disease overlap
  • frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) with TDP-43 proteinopathy (FTLD-TDP)
  • motor neuron disease
  • principal components analysis
  • TAR DNA-binding protein of 43 kDa (TDP-43)
  • PCA
  • MND


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