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Proteomics. 2003 Aug;3(8):1486-94.

A panel of cerebrospinal fluid potential biomarkers for the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease.

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Biomedical Proteomics Research Group, Central Clinical Chemistry Laboratory, Geneva University Hospital, 24 rue Micheli-du-Crest, CH-1211 Geneva 14, Switzerland.


The diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), the most common form of dementia in the general population, usually relies upon the presence of typical clinical features and structural changes on brain magnetic resonance imaging. Over the last decade, a number of biological abnormalities have been reported in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of AD patients, in particular altered levels of the tau protein and the 1-42 fragment of the amyloid precursor protein. These, however, have not yet proved sensitive and specific enough to be included in the diagnostic criteria for AD, leaving plenty of room for the search of novel biomarkers. The present study describes the analysis of CSF polypeptides by a protein-chip array technology called surface enhanced laser desorption/ionization-time of flight-mass spectrometry (SELDI-TOF-MS). Using this approach, we detected statistically significant quantitative differences (p < 0.05) regarding four overexpressed and one underexpressed polypeptides in the CSF of AD patients as compared to healthy controls. Four of them were further purified by strong anionic exchange chromatography (SAX) and identified by MS analysis as cystatin C, two beta-2-microglobulin isoforms, an unknown 7.7 kDa polypeptide, and a 4.8 kDa VGF polypeptide. The combination of the five polypeptides for the diagnosis of AD allowed to classified six AD patients out of the nine included in this study and all the ten controls, which means in this small cohort that the specificity and sensitivity are 100% and 66%, respectively. This study, based on the protein-chip array technology, demonstrates the presence in the CSF of novel potential biomarkers for AD, which may be used for the diagnosis and perhaps the assessment of the severity and progression of the disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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