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Aging and disease    2018, Vol. 9 Issue (1) : 51-65     DOI: 10.14336/AD.2017.0416
Orginal Article |
Trefoil Factor 3, Cholinesterase and Homocysteine: Potential Predictors for Parkinson’s Disease Dementia and Vascular Parkinsonism Dementia in Advanced Stage
Zou Jing1, Chen Zhigang1, Liang Caiqian2, Fu Yongmei2, Wei Xiaobo1, Lu Jianjun3, Pan Mengqiu3, Guo Yue4, Liao Xinxue4, Xie Huifang5, Wu Duobin5, Li Min6, Liang Lihui7,*, Wang Penghua8,*, Wang Qing1,*
1Department of Neurology, and
2Department of Emergency, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, China.
3Department of Neurology, Guangdong 999 Brain Hospital, Guangzhou, China.
4Department of Cardiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University, China.
5Department of Neurology, Zhujiang Hospital, Southern Medical University, China.
6School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong, China.
7Department of Geriatric Medicine, Hunan Provincial People’s Hospital, Changsha, Hunan, China.
8Department of Microbiology & Immunology, School of Medicine, New York Medical College, NY 10595, USA
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Trefoil factor 3 (TFF3), cholinesterase activity (ChE activity) and homocysteine (Hcy) play critical roles in modulating recognition, learning and memory in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease dementia (PDD) and vascular parkinsonism with dementia (VPD). However, whether they can be used as reliable predictors to evaluate the severity and progression of PDD and VPD remains largely unknown. Methods: We performed a cross-sectional study that included 92 patients with PDD, 82 patients with VPD and 80 healthy controls. Serum levels of TFF3, ChE activity and Hcy were measured. Several scales were used to rate the severity of PDD and VPD. Receivers operating characteristic (ROC) curves were applied to map the diagnostic accuracy of PDD and VPD patients compared to healthy subjects. Results: Compared with healthy subjects, the serum levels of TFF3 and ChE activity were lower, while Hcy was higher in the PDD and VPD patients. These findings were especially prominent in male patients. The three biomarkers displayed differences between PDD and VPD sub-groups based on genders and UPDRS (III) scores’ distribution. Interestingly, these increased serum Hcy levels were significantly and inversely correlated with decreased TFF3/ChE activity levels. There were significant correlations between TFF3/ChE activity/Hcy levels and PDD/VPD severities, including motor dysfunction, declining cognition and mood/gastrointestinal symptoms. Additionally, ROC curves for the combination of TFF3, ChE activity and Hcy showed potential diagnostic value in discriminating PDD and VPD patients from healthy controls. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that serum TFF3, ChE activity and Hcy levels may underlie the pathophysiological mechanisms of PDD and VPD. As the race to find biomarkers or predictors for these diseases intensifies, a better understanding of the roles of TFF3, ChE activity and Hcy may yield insights into the pathogenesis of PDD and VPD.

Keywords TFF3      ChE activity      Hcy      Parkinson disease dementia      vascular parkinsonism dementia      pathogenesis     
Corresponding Authors: Liang Lihui,Wang Penghua,Wang Qing   
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These authors contributed equally

Issue Date: 01 February 2018
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Zou Jing
Chen Zhigang
Liang Caiqian
Fu Yongmei
Wei Xiaobo
Lu Jianjun
Pan Mengqiu
Guo Yue
Liao Xinxue
Xie Huifang
Wu Duobin
Li Min
Liang Lihui
Wang Penghua
Wang Qing
Cite this article:   
Zou Jing,Chen Zhigang,Liang Caiqian, et al. Trefoil Factor 3, Cholinesterase and Homocysteine: Potential Predictors for Parkinson’s Disease Dementia and Vascular Parkinsonism Dementia in Advanced Stage[J]. Aging and disease, 2018, 9(1): 51-65.
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Clinical parametersPDDHealthy subjectsVPD

Mean (SD)MinMaxMean (SD)MinMaxMean (SD)MinMax
Gender (n)Male n (%)49(53.3)//44(55)//45(54.8)//
Female n (%)43(46.7)//36(45)//37(45.2)//
Age (years)65.73(11.18)568864.43(7.10)508270.29(9.87)6583
NMSS (total)86.77(53.47)20188///103.22(44.42)30235
Cardiovascular4.06 (2.90)012///4.96(3.95)018
Perceptual problem2.87(4.48)018///3.47(5.92)026
Sexual function5.45(6.23)018///8.41(7.69)024
Daily dose of L-Dopa (mg)252.6(58.52)206.44291.14///275.06(65.77)223.35305.21
Disease Duration4.05(3.40)0.515///3.53(3.36)0.511
Table 1  Demographic, motor, and non-motor parameters.
VariablePDDVPDControlt Valuep ValueTukey’s
ChE activity7528±15737232±12547785±1962-1.8150.042*0.8820.0670.028*
Table 2  Comparison of age, MMSE, TFF3, Hcy and ChE activity among PDD, VPD and normal healthy subjects.
VariablePDD (mean ± SD)Control (mean ± SD)PDD vs. ControlPDD(Male) vs. (Female)

ChE activityMale7596±14337736±1648-2.0830.038*a-0.8630.520b
Table 3  Comparison of TFF3, Hcy and ChE activity between normal subjects and PDD patients according to genders.
VariableVPD (mean ± SD)Control (mean ± SD)VPD vs. ControlVPD(Male) vs. (Female)

ChE activityMale7286±16267736±1648-2.0660.032*b-0.5710.739b
Table 4  Comparison of TFF3, Hcy and ChE activity between healthy subjects and VPD patients according to genders.
Figure 1.  Correlation analysis between TFF3/ChE activity and Hcy Levels in PDD and VPD patients

A significant negative correlation between (A) TFF3 and Hcy Levels in PDD patients (rs =-0.799, ***p<0.001); (B) ChE activity and Hcy Levels in PDD patients (rs =-0.732, ***p<0.001). (C) TFF3 and Hcy Levels in VPD patients (rs =-0.771, ***p<0.001). (D) ChE activity and Hcy Levels in VPD patients (rs =-0.713, ***p<0.001).

Mean ± SD
Mean ± SD
31<UPDRS(III)<5015.74±10.2914.16±10.033.1400.003 a**
ChE activity
31<UPDRS(III)<507829±12827320±10502.1450.037 a*
UPDRS(III)>507462±12917057±13312.3350.020 a*
Table 5  Comparison of TFF3, Hcy and ChE activity between PDD and VPD patients according to genders and UPDRS-III scores.
Figure 2.  ROC curves to evaluate the utility of serum levels of TFF3, ChE activity and Hcy Levels for the discrimination of PDD/VPD patients from healthy controls

(A-D) The AUC of ROC curves for discrimination of PDD patients from healthy controls (A) TFF3, (B) ChE activity, and (C) Hcy were 0.778 (95%CI: 0.706-0.850, *p=0.037), 0.516 (95%CI: 0.423-0.609, p=0.737), and 0.690 (95%CI: 0.606-0.774, *p=0.043), respectively. The AUC of (D) TFF3+ChE activity+Hcy was 0.880 (95%CI: 0.828-0.932, *p=0.027). (E-H) The AUC of ROC curves for discrimination of VPD patients from healthy controls. (E) TFF3, (F) ChE activity, and (G) Hcy were 0.748 (95%CI: 0.671-0.826, *p=0.040), 0.567 (95%CI: 0.475-0.660, *p=0.047), and 0.623 (95%CI: 0.533-0.713, *p=0.046), respectively. The AUC of (H) TFF3+ChE activity+Hcy was 0.846 (95%CI:0.785-0.908, *p=0.031).

Figure 3.  MRI images in normal controls and PDD and VPD patients

(A) Normal subjects, (B) PDD patients, (C) VPD patients. The extent of white matter hyperintensities and multiple infarctions in the basal ganglia in the VPD patients are shown in T2-weighted and FLAIR images. Arrows indicate the infarction.

VariableHcy in PDDHcy in VPD

ChE activity-0.7320.000***-0.7130.000***
Table 6  Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient (rs) and p-values between TFF3/ChE activity and Hcy Levels in PDD and VPD patients.
VariableTFF3 (PDD)Hcy (PDD)ChE activity (PDD)TFF3 (VPD)Hcy (VPD)ChE activity (VPD)

Perceptual problem-0.0580.2180.0800.253-0.1850.105-0.0740.6460.0540.392-0.0350.831
Sexual function-0.2190.1400.0290.846-0.2270.164-0.0830.0710.0730.301-0.2500.115
Daily dose of L-Dopa (mg)-0.0710.1300.1310.058-0.1000.497-0.0310.5020.0270.695-0.0020.972
Table 7  Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient (rs) and p-values between clinical variables and H&Y, MMSE, NMSS(total/domain) s in PDD and VPD patients.
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