Serum NGAL is Associated with Distinct Plasma Amyloid-β Peptides According to the Clinical Diagnosis of Dementia in Down Syndrome

Petrus J.W. Naudé*, Alain D. Dekker, Antonia M.W. Coppus, Yannick Vermeiren, Ulrich L.M. Eisel, Cornelia M. Van Duijn, Debby Van Dam, Peter P. De Deyn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The majority of people with Down syndrome (DS) develop dementia due to Alzheimer's disease (AD). Neuropathological features are characterized by an accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ) deposits and the presence of an activated immune response. Neutrophil Gelatinase-Associated Lipocalin (NGAL) is a newly identified (neuro)inflammatory constituent in AD. Objective: This study examines NGAL as an inflammatory marker in DS and its associations with plasma Aβ peptides according to the follow-up clinical diagnosis of dementia. Methods: Baseline serum NGAL and plasma Aβ40, Aβ42, Aβn40, and Aβn42 were quantified in 204 people with DS. The diagnosis of dementia in DS was established by follow-up clinical assessments. The following study groups were characterized: DS with AD at baseline (n = 67), DS without AD (n = 53), and non-demented DS individuals that converted to AD (n = 84). Serum NGAL was analyzed in 55 elderly non-DS, non-demented people. Results: Serum NGAL levels were significantly increased in DS subjects compared to non-DS people. Serum NGAL levels were not associated with clinical dementia symptoms in DS. However, NGAL was positively associated with Aβ42 and Aβn42 in demented DS individuals and with Aβ40 and Aβn40 in the non-demented DS group. NGAL was negatively associated with Aβ42/Aβ40 and Aβn42/Aβn40 ratios in converted DS subjects. These associations persisted for Aβn40, Aβ42/Aβ40, and Aβn42/Aβn40 after adjusting for demographics measures, apolipoprotein E ε4 allele, platelets, and anti-inflammatory medication. Conclusion: Serum NGAL levels are increased in DS and associated with distinct species of Aβ depending on the progression of dementia as diagnosed by baseline and follow-up clinical assessments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)733-743
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • amyloid-β
  • apolipoprotein E
  • biomarker
  • down syndrome
  • inflammation
  • lipocalin 2
  • platelets


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