Measuring progression a blast fromm the past

This study measures markers in the blood to monitor disease activity. Astrocyte proteins can be found

Abdelhak A, Huss A, Kassubek J, Tumani H, Otto M. Serum GFAP as a biomarker for disease severity in multiple sclerosis. Sci Rep. 2018 Oct 4;8(1):14798.

While neurofilament light chain (NfL) measurement in serum is a well-established marker of neuroaxonal damage in multiple sclerosis (MS), data on astroglial markers in serum are missing. In our study, glial fibrillary acid protein (GFAP) and NfL were measured in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and serum of MS patients and patients with other non-inflammatory neurological diseases (OND) using the Simoa technology. Clinical data like age, gender, expanded disability status scale (EDSS) and MRI findings were correlated to neurochemical markers. We included 80 MS patients: 42 relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), 38 progressive MS (PMS), as well as 20 OND. Serum GFAP levels were higher in PMS compared to RRMS and OND (p < 0.001, p = 0.02 respectively). Serum GFAP levels correlated with disease severity in the whole MS group and PMS (Spearman-rho = 0.5, p < 0.001 in both groups). Serum GFAP correlated with serum NfL in PMS patients (Spearman-rho = 0.4, p = 0.01). Levels of serum GFAP were higher with increasing MRI-lesion count (p = 0.01). in summary, we report elevated levels of GFAP in the serum of MS patients. Since serum levels of GFAP correlate with the clinical severity scores and MRI lesion count, especially in PMS patients, it might be a suitable disease progression marker

The study looks for GFAP, which is an astrocyte marker and finds more in the blood of PPMS. It may be a progression marker. Although the correlations are particularly weak, this may be a way of assessing astrogliosis. Does this finding surprise me. Well not really I wonder why?

Quantification of neurodegeneration by measurement of brain-specific proteins. Petzold A, Baker D, Pryce G, Keir G, Thompson EJ, Giovannoni G. J Neuroimmunol. 2003;138(1-2):45-8.
Quantification of neurodegeneration in animal models is typically assessed by time-consuming and observer-dependent immunocytochemistry. This study aimed to investigate if newly developed ELISA techniques could provide an observer-independent, cost-effective and time-saving tool for this purpose. Neurofilament heavy chain (NfH(SM135)), astrocytic glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), S100B and ferritin, markers of axonal loss, gliosis, astrocyte activation and microglial activation, respectively, were quantified in the spinal cord homogenates of mice with chronic relapsing experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (CREAE, n=8) and controls (n=7). Levels of GFAP were found to be threefold elevated in CREAE (13 ng/mg protein) when compared to control animals (4.5 ng/mg protein, p<0.001). The inverse was observed for NfH(SM135) (21 ng/mg protein vs. 63 ng/mg protein, p<0.001), ferritin (542 ng/mg protein vs. 858 ng/mg protein, p<0.001) and S100B (786 ng/mg protein vs. 2080 ng/mg protein, N.S.). These findings were confirmed by immunocytochemistry, which demonstrated intense staining for GFAP and decreased staining for NfH(SM135) in CREAE compared to control animals. These findings indicate that axonal loss and gliosis can be estimated biochemically using the newly developed ELISA assays for NfH(SM135) and GFAP. These assays may facilitate the quantification of pathological features involved in neurodegeneration.
Petzold A, Eikelenboom MJ, Gveric D, Keir G, Chapman M, Lazeron RH, Cuzner ML, Polman CH, Uitdehaag BM, Thompson EJ, Giovannoni G. Markers for different glial cell responses in multiple sclerosis: clinical and pathological correlations. Brain. 2002;125:1462-73.Disease progression in multiple sclerosis occurs within the interface of glial activation and gliosis. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between biomarkers of different glial cell responses.Multiple sclerosis patients with poor ambulation (AI > or =7) or severe disability (EDSS >6.5) had significantly higher CSF GFAP levels than less disabled multiple sclerosis or control patients (P < 0.01 and P < 0.001, respectively). There was a correlation between GFAP levels and ambulation in SP multiple sclerosis (r = 0.57, P < 0.01) GFAP levels were significantly higher in the cortex of multiple sclerosis than in control brain homogenate (P < 0.001 and P < 0.05, respectively). GFAP correlated with disability scales and may therefore be a marker for irreversible damage. The results of this study have broad implications for finding new and sensitive outcome measures for treatment trials that aim to delay the development of disability. They may also be considered in future classifications of multiple sclerosis patients.

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