Association of plasma YKL-40 with brain amyloid-β levels, memory performance, and sex in subjective memory complainers

INSIGHT-preAD study group and the Alzheimer Precision Medicine Initiative (APMI), INSIGHT-preAD Study Group, Alzheimer Precision Medicine Initiative (APMI)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Neuroinflammation, a key early pathomechanistic alteration of Alzheimer's disease, may represent either a detrimental or a compensatory mechanism or both (according to the disease stage). YKL-40, a glycoprotein highly expressed in differentiated glial cells, is a candidate biomarker for in vivo tracking neuroinflammation in humans. We performed a longitudinal study in a monocentric cohort of cognitively healthy individuals at risk for Alzheimer's disease exploring whether age, sex, and the apolipoprotein E ε4 allele affect plasma YKL-40 concentrations. We investigated whether YKL-40 is associated with brain amyloid-β (Aβ) deposition, neuronal activity, and neurodegeneration as assessed via neuroimaging biomarkers. Finally, we investigated whether YKL-40 may predict cognitive performance. We found an age-associated increase of YKL-40 and observed that men display higher concentrations than women, indicating a potential sexual dimorphism. Moreover, YKL-40 was positively associated with memory performance and negatively associated with brain Aβ deposition (but not with metabolic signal). Consistent with translational studies, our results suggest a potentially protective effect of glia on incipient brain Aβ accumulation and neuronal homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-32
Number of pages11
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amyloid
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Sex
  • YKL-40


Dive into the research topics of 'Association of plasma YKL-40 with brain amyloid-β levels, memory performance, and sex in subjective memory complainers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this