Chitotriosidase (CHIT1) is increased in microglia and macrophages in spinal cord of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and cerebrospinal fluid levels correlate with disease severity and progression

Petra Steinacker, Federico Verde, Lubin Fang, Emily Feneberg, Patrick Oeckl, Sigrun Roeber, Sarah Anderl-Straub, Adrian Danek, Janine Diehl-Schmid, Klaus Fassbender, Klaus Fliessbach, Hans Foerstl, Armin Giese, Holger Jahn, Jan Kassubek, Johannes Kornhuber, G. Bernhard Landwehrmeyer, Martin Lauer, Elmar Hans Pinkhardt, Johannes PrudloAngela Rosenbohm, Anja Schneider, Matthias L. Schroeter, Hayrettin Tumani, Christine A.F. Von Arnim, Jochen Weishaupt, Patrick Weydt, Albert C. Ludolph, Deniz Yilmazer Hanke, Markus Otto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives Neurochemical markers of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) that reflect underlying disease mechanisms might help in diagnosis, staging and prediction of outcome. We aimed at determining the origin and differential diagnostic and prognostic potential of the putative marker of microglial activation chitotriosidase (CHIT1). Methods Altogether 316 patients were included, comprising patients with sporadic ALS, ALS mimics (disease controls (DCo)), frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD) and healthy controls (Con). CHIT1 and neurofilament levels were determined in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and blood and analysed with regard to diagnostic sensitivity and specificity and prognostic performance. Additionally, postmortem tissue was analysed for CHIT1 expression. Results In ALS, CHIT1 CSF levels were higher compared with Con (p<0.0001), DCo (p<0.05) and neurodegenerative diseases (AD p<0.05, PD p<0.01, FTLD p<0.0001) except CJD. CHIT1 concentrations were correlated with ALS disease progression and severity but not with the survival time, as did neurofilaments. Serum CHIT1 levels were not different in ALS compared with any other study group. In the spinal cord of patients with ALS, but not Con, AD or CJD cases, CHIT1 was expressed in the corticospinal tract and CHIT1 staining colocalised with markers of microglia (IBA1) and macrophages (CD68). Conclusions CHIT1 concentrations in the CSF of patients with ALS may reflect the extent of microglia/macrophage activation in the white matter of the spinal cord. CHIT1 could be a potentially useful marker for differential diagnosis and prediction of disease progression in ALS and, therefore, seems suitable as a supplemental marker for patient stratification in therapeutic trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-247
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry
Volume89
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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