Amyloid beta (Aβ), especially Aβ oligomers, is important in early Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathogenesis.
AD-associated inflammation has generally been considered as a secondary response to the pathological lesions evoked by
Aβ oligomers in the early stage of pathogenesis. We studied the levels of plasma Aβ monomers, Aβ oligomers, and soluble
tumor necrosis factor α receptors (sTNFRs) in 120 controls, 32 amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) patients,
and 90 mild AD patients. The plasma Aβ monomer, oligomer and sTNFR levels were measured by ELISA. We observed
that the Aβ oligomer levels in mild AD patients were significantly higher than those in aMCI (200.8±83.8 versus
93.9±23.3, P<0.05) and healthy subjects (200.8±83.8 versus 70.0±60.9, P<0.05). The sTNFR levels in the plasma of
aMCI and mild AD patients were significantly higher than the levels of control subjects. Moreover, the levels of both
sTNFR1 and sTNFR2 were significantly correlated with Aβ oligomer levels in aMCI (sTNFR1r= 0.376, P= 0.034;
sTNFR2r= 0.367, P= 0.039) and mild AD patients (sTNFR1r= 0.471, P< 0.001; sTNFR2 r= 0.407, P< 0.001).
More importantly, changes in Aβ oligomer and sTNFR levels accurately differentiated mild AD patients from control subjects,
supporting these levels might be potential diagnostic biomarkers for aMCI and AD.