The inflammasome adaptor protein ASC in mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease

Xavier O. Scott, Marisa E. Stephens, Marie C. Desir, W. Dalton Dietrich, Robert W. Keane, Juan Pablo de Rivero Vaccari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is characterized by memory loss in the absence of dementia and is considered the translational stage between normal aging and early Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Patients with MCI have a greater risk of advancing to AD. Thus, identifying early markers of MCI has the potential to increase the therapeutic window to treat and manage the disease. Protein levels of the inflammasome signaling proteins apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a caspase recruitment domain (ASC) and interleukin (IL)-18 were analyzed in the serum of patients with MCI, AD and healthy age-matched donors as possible biomarkers, as well as levels of soluble amyloid precursor proteins α/β (sAPP α/β) and neurofilament light (NfL). Cut-off points and positive and negative predictive values, as well as receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curves, likelihood ratios and accuracy were determined for these proteins. Although the levels of ASC were higher in MCI and AD than in age-matched controls, protein levels of ASC were higher in MCI than in AD cases. For control vs. MCI, the area under the curve (AUC) for ASC was 0.974, with a cut-off point of 264.9 pg/mL. These data were comparable to the AUC for sAPP α and β of 0.9687 and 0.9068, respectively, as well as 0.7734 for NfL. Moreover, similar results were obtained for control vs. AD and MCI vs. AD. These results indicate that ASC is a promising biomarker of MCI and AD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4674
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 2020


  • ASC
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Inflammaging
  • Inflammasome
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Serum biomarkers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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