CSF neurofilament proteins as diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Vincenzo La Bella, Rossella Spataro, Tiziana Colletti, Daniela Rossi, Paolo Volanti, Liliana Brambilla, Paolo Volanti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Elevated cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), Neurofilament Light (NF-L) and phosphorylated Heavy (pNF-H) chain levels have been found in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), with studies reporting a correlation of both neurofilaments (NFs) with the disease progression. Here, we measured NF-L and pNF-H concentrations in the CSF of ALS patients from a single tertiary Center and investigated their relationship with disease-related variables. A total of 190 ALS patients (Bulbar, 29.9%; Spinal, 70.1%; M/F = 1.53) and 130 controls with mixed neurological diseases were recruited. Demographic and clinical variables were recorded, and Delta FS was used to rate the disease progression. Controls were divided into two cohorts: (1) patients with non-inflammatory neurological diseases (CTL-1); (2) patients with acute/subacute inflammatory diseases and tumors, expected to lead to significant axonal and tissue damage (CTL-2). For each patient and control, CSF was taken at the time of the diagnostic work-up and stored following the published guidelines. CSF NF-L and pNF-H were assayed with commercially available ELISA-based methods. Standard curves (from independent ELISA kits) were highly reproducible for both NFs, with a coefficient of variation < 20%. We found that CSF NF-L and pNF-H levels in ALS were significantly increased when compared to CTL-1 (NF-L: ALS, 4.7 ng/ml vs CTL-1, 0.61 ng/ml, p < 0.001; pNF-H: ALS, 1.7 ng/ml vs CTL-1, 0.03 ng/ml, p < 0.0001), but not to CTL-2. Analysis of different clinical and prognostic variables disclosed meaningful correlations with both NF-L and pNF-H levels. Our results, from a relatively large ALS cohort, confirm that CSF NF-L and pNF-H represent valuable diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers in ALS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510-521
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neurology
Volume265
Publication statusPublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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