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Serum phosphorylated neurofilament-heavy chain levels in multiple sclerosis patients


Gresle, MM and Liu, Y and Dagley, LF and Haartsen, J and Pearson, F and Purcell, AW and Laverick, L and Petzold, A and Lucas, RM and Van der Walt, A and Prime, H and Morris, DR and Taylor, BV and Shaw, G and Butzkueven, H, on behalf of the Ausimmune Consortium, Serum phosphorylated neurofilament-heavy chain levels in multiple sclerosis patients, Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, 85, (11) pp. 1209-1213. ISSN 0022-3050 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 BMJ Publishing Group

DOI: doi:10.1136/jnnp-2013-306789


OBJECTIVES: We evaluated whether the measurement of serum phosphorylated neurofilament heavy chain (pNF-H) titre is likely to be a valid biomarker of axonal injury in multiple sclerosis (MS).

METHODS: Serum pNF-H concentrations were measured by ELISA in cases with relapsing-remitting (RR)-MS (n=81), secondary progressive (SP) MS (n=13) and primary progressive (PP)-MS; n=6) MS; first demyelinating event (FDE; n=82); and unaffected controls (n=135). A subset of MS cases (n=45) were re-sampled on one or multiple occasions. The Multiple Sclerosis Severity Score (MSSS) and MRI measures were used to evaluate associations between serum pNF-H status, disease severity and cerebral lesion load and activity.

RESULTS: We confirmed the presence of pNF-H peptides in serum by ELISA. We showed that a high serum pNF-H titre was detectable in 9% of RR-MS and FDE cases, and 38.5% of SP-MS cases. Patients with a high serum pNF-H titre had higher average MSSS scores and T2 lesion volumes than patients with a low serum pNF-H titre. Repeated sampling of a subset of MS cases showed that pNF-H levels can fluctuate over time, likely reflecting temporal dynamics of axonal injury in MS.

CONCLUSIONS: A subset of FDE/MS cases was found to have a high serum pNF-H titre, and this was associated with changes in clinical outcome measures. We propose that routine measurement of serum pNF-H should be further investigated for monitoring axonal injury in MS.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Neurosciences
Research Field:Central nervous system
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Taylor, BV (Professor Bruce Taylor)
ID Code:97325
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:27
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2014-12-11
Last Modified:2017-11-06

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