Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) amyloid-β peptide (Aβ)42/Aβ40 and the concentration of tau phosphorylated at site 181 (p-tau181) are well-established biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The present study used mass spectrometry to measure concentrations of nine phosphorylated and five nonphosphorylated tau species and phosphorylation occupancies (percentage phosphorylated/nonphosphorylated) at ten sites. In the present study we show that, in 750 individuals with a median age of 71.2 years, CSF pT217/T217 predicted the presence of brain amyloid by positron emission tomography (PET) slightly better than Aβ42/Aβ40 (P = 0.02). Furthermore, for individuals with positive brain amyloid by PET (n = 263), CSF pT217/T217 was more strongly correlated with the amount of amyloid (Spearman’s ρ = 0.69) than Aβ42/Aβ40 (ρ = −0.42, P < 0.0001). In two independent cohorts of participants with symptoms of AD dementia (n = 55 and n = 90), CSF pT217/T217 and pT205/T205 were better correlated with tau PET measures than CSF p-tau181 concentration. These findings suggest that CSF pT217/T217 and pT205/T205 represent improved CSF biomarkers of amyloid and tau pathology in AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-401
Number of pages11
JournalNature Aging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023


Dive into the research topics of 'CSF tau phosphorylation occupancies at T217 and T205 represent improved biomarkers of amyloid and tau pathology in Alzheimer’s disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this