Cytoskeletal proteins in the cerebrospinal fluid as biomarker of multiple sclerosis

Roberto Madeddu, Cristiano Farace, Paola Tolu, Giuliana Solinas, Yolande Asara, Maria Alessandra Sotgiu, Lucia Gemma Delogu, Jose Carlos Prados, Stefano Sotgiu, Andrea Montella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The axonal cytoskeleton is a finely organized system, essential for maintaining the integrity of the axon. Axonal degeneration is implicated in the pathogenesis of unremitting disability of multiple sclerosis (MS). Purpose of this study is to evaluate levels of cytoskeletal proteins such as neurofilament light protein (NFL), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), and β-tubulin (β-Tub) isoforms II and III in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of MS patients and their correlation with MS clinical indices. CSF levels of cytoskeletal proteins were determined in 51 patients: 33 with MS and 18 with other neurological diseases (OND). NFL, GFAP and β-Tub II proteins were significantly higher (p < 0.0001) in MS than in OND group; no significant difference (p > 0.05) was found between MS and OND with regard to β-Tub III. Interestingly, levels of β-Tub III and NFL were higher in progressive than in remitting MS forms; on the contrary, higher levels of β-Tub II and GFAP were found in remitting MS forms. However, with the exception of β-Tub III, all proteins tend to decrease their CSF levels concomitantly with the increasing disability (EDSS) score. Overall, our results might indicate β-Tub II as a potential candidate for diagnostic and β-Tub III as a possible prognostic biomarker of MS. Therefore, further analyses are legitimated and desirable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-186
Number of pages6
JournalNeurological Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2013


  • Axonal damage
  • Biomarkers
  • Cerebrospinal fluid
  • Cytoskeletal proteins
  • Multiple sclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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