A comparative study of CSF neurofilament light and heavy chain protein in MS

This research group from the UK compared two assays to measure two subunits of the neurofilament protein-neurofilament light (NfL) and neurofilament heavy chain (NfH). Neurofilaments are the major structural elements of neurons that are specifically expressed in axons and dendrites. 

The researchers compared CSF levels of NfL, measured using the UmanDiagnostics NF-light® enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in 148 patients with clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) or multiple sclerosis (MS) and 72 controls with referring levels to previously-developed CSF NfHSMI35 assay. They found that NfL proved to be a stable protein and the NF-light® ELISA performed better compared with the NfHSMI35 immunoassay. Values of NfL were higher in all disease stages of CIS/MS in comparison to controls. NfL levels correlated with the EDSS score in patients with RRMS, spinal cord relapses and with CSF markers of acute inflammation. Overall, this study supports the role of neurofilaments as a useful measure of neurodegeneration and their potential role as a surrogate measure in MS treatment studies.

Authors: Kuhle J, Plattner K, Bestwick JP

Source: Mult Scler. 2013 Mar 25. [Epub ahead of print]

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