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Increased Neurofilament Light Chain Blood Levels in Neurodegenerative Neurological Diseases

Gaiottino, J; Norgren, N; Dobson, R; Topping, J; Nissim, A; Malaspina, A; Bestwick, JP; ... Kuhle, J; + view all (2013) Increased Neurofilament Light Chain Blood Levels in Neurodegenerative Neurological Diseases. PLoS One , 8 (9) , Article e75091. 10.1371/journal.pone.0075091. Green open access

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Abstract

Objective Neuronal damage is the morphological substrate of persisting neurological disability. Neurofilaments (Nf) are cytoskeletal proteins of neurons and their release into cerebrospinal fluid has shown encouraging results as a biomarker for neurodegeneration. This study aimed to validate the quantification of the Nf light chain (NfL) in blood samples, as a biofluid source easily accessible for longitudinal studies. Methods We developed and applied a highly sensitive electrochemiluminescence (ECL) based immunoassay for quantification of NfL in blood and CSF. Results Patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) (30.8 pg/ml, n=20), Guillain-Barré-syndrome (GBS) (79.4 pg/ml, n=19) or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) (95.4 pg/ml, n=46) had higher serum NfL values than a control group of neurological patients without evidence of structural CNS damage (control patients, CP) (4.4 pg/ml, n=68, p<0.0001 for each comparison, p=0.002 for AD patients) and healthy controls (HC) (3.3 pg/ml, n=67, p<0.0001). Similar differences were seen in corresponding CSF samples. CSF and serum levels correlated in AD (r=0.48, p=0.033), GBS (r=0.79, p<0.0001) and ALS (r=0.70, p<0.0001), but not in CP (r=0.11, p=0.3739). The sensitivity and specificity of serum NfL for separating ALS from healthy controls was 91.3% and 91.0%. Conclusions We developed and validated a novel ECL based sandwich immunoassay for the NfL protein in serum (NfLUmea47:3); levels in ALS were more than 20-fold higher than in controls. Our data supports further longitudinal studies of serum NfL in neurodegenerative diseases as a potential biomarker of on-going disease progression, and as a potential surrogate to quantify effects of neuroprotective drugs in clinical trials.

Type: Article
Title: Increased Neurofilament Light Chain Blood Levels in Neurodegenerative Neurological Diseases
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0075091
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0075091
Language: English
Additional information: © 2013 Gaiottino et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. PMCID: PMC3779219
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1410299
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