TDP-43 Pathology in Alzheimer’s Disease

Axel Meneses, Shunsuke Koga, Justin O’Leary, Dennis W. Dickson, Guojun Bu, Na Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Transactive response DNA binding protein of 43 kDa (TDP-43) is an intranuclear protein encoded by the TARDBP gene that is involved in RNA splicing, trafficking, stabilization, and thus, the regulation of gene expression. Cytoplasmic inclusion bodies containing phosphorylated and truncated forms of TDP-43 are hallmarks of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and a subset of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). Additionally, TDP-43 inclusions have been found in up to 57% of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) cases, most often in a limbic distribution, with or without hippocampal sclerosis. In some cases, TDP-43 deposits are also found in neurons with neurofibrillary tangles. AD patients with TDP-43 pathology have increased severity of cognitive impairment compared to those without TDP-43 pathology. Furthermore, the most common genetic risk factor for AD, apolipoprotein E4 (APOE4), is associated with increased frequency of TDP-43 pathology. These findings provide strong evidence that TDP-43 pathology is an integral part of multiple neurodegenerative conditions, including AD. Here, we review the biology and pathobiology of TDP-43 with a focus on its role in AD. We emphasize the need for studies on the mechanisms that lead to TDP-43 pathology, especially in the setting of age-related disorders such as AD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number84
JournalMolecular neurodegeneration
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • TDP-43

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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