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Eur Neurol. 1999;41(4):216-25.

The 14-3-3 protein detectable in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with prion-unrelated neurological diseases is expressed constitutively in neurons and glial cells in culture.

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Division of Neurology, Department of Internal Medicine, Saga Medical School, Saga, Japan.


The 14-3-3 protein belongs to a family of 30-kD proteins originally identified by two-dimensional analysis of brain protein extracts. Recently, the detection of the 14-3-3 protein in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is utilized as a highly reliable test for the premortem diagnosis of prion diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. For the initial step, to clarify the biological implication of the CSF 14-3-3 protein in these diseases, its expression was investigated in neural tissues and cultures and CSF samples from patients with a variety of neurological diseases by Western blot analysis and immunocytochemistry. The constitutive expression of the 14-3-3 protein was identified in all neural and nonneural tissues examined. It was expressed in all neurons, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and microglia in culture with its location in both cytoplasmic and nuclear regions. The 14-3-3 protein was detected in the CSF of 8 out of 71 patients, including 1 Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker disease patient and 7 patients with prion-unrelated neurological diseases, such as meningoencephalitis of viral, bacterial, or tuberculous origin, multiple sclerosis, and mitochondrial myopathy, encephalopathy, lactic acidosis, and strokelike episodes. These results suggest that the 14-3-3 protein expressed constitutively at substantial levels in both neurons and glial cells might be released into the CSF as a disease-nonspecific consequence of the extensive brain damage and indicate that the analysis of the 14-3-3 protein in the CSF is not useful as a screening test for prion diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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