LATE-NC risk alleles (in TMEM106B, GRN, and ABCC9 genes) among persons with African ancestry

Limbic-predominant age-related TDP-43 encephalopathy (LATE) affects approximately one-third of older individuals and is associated with cognitive impairment. However, there is a highly incomplete understanding of the genetic determinants of LATE neuropathologic changes (LATE-NC) in diverse populations. The defining neuropathologic feature of LATE-NC is TDP-43 proteinopathy, often with comorbid hippocampal sclerosis (HS). In terms of genetic risk factors, LATE-NC and/or HS are associated with single nucleotide variants (SNVs) in 3 genes-TMEM106B (rs1990622), GRN (rs5848), and ABCC9 (rs1914361 and rs701478). We evaluated these 3 genes in convenience samples of individuals of African ancestry. The allele frequencies of the LATE-associated alleles were significantly different between persons of primarily African (versus European) ancestry: In persons of African ancestry, the risk-associated alleles for TMEM106B and ABCC9 were less frequent, whereas the risk allele in GRN was more frequent. We performed an exploratory analysis of data from African-American subjects processed by the Alzheimer’s Disease Genomics Consortium, with a subset of African-American participants (nā€‰=ā€‰166) having corroborating neuropathologic data through the National Alzheimer’s Coordinating Center (NACC). In this limited-size sample, the ABCC9/rs1914361 SNV was associated with HS pathology. More work is required concerning the genetic factors influencing non-Alzheimer disease pathology such as LATE-NC in diverse cohorts.