Particular CSF sphingolipid patterns identify iNPH and AD patients

Enrica Torretta, Beatrice Arosio, Pietro Barbacini, Martina Casati, Daniele Capitanio, Roberta Mancuso, Daniela Mari, Matteo Cesari, Mario Clerici, Cecilia Gelfi

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Idiopathic normal pressure hydrocephalus (iNPH) is characterized by reversible neurological symptoms due to an impairment in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) clearance. In these patients, cognitive functions are severely impaired, with a scenario similar to Alzheimer's disease (AD), making the differential diagnosis difficult and highlighting the need of new markers. We analyzed the composition of sphingolipids (SLs) in serum, by combining a single phase extraction with a high-performance thin-layer chromatography (HPTLC) primuline-profiling, and, in CSF, by MALDI profiling and LC-MS. Ceramides and sphingomyelins (SMs) were similar in serum of iNPH and AD patients compared to healthy controls, whereas, in CSF, MALDI profiling indicated that: 1) SM C24:1 is significantly decreased in AD compared to iNPH patients and controls (Kruskal-Wallis p-value < 0.00001); 2) phosphatidylcholine (PC) 36:2 is increased in iNPH patients (p-value < 0.001). LC-MS identified an increasing trend of Cer C24:0 and of a set of SMs in patients with AD, a significant decrease of sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) (t-test p-value 0.0325) and an increase of glucosylceramide (GlcCer) C24:0 (p-value 0.0037) in AD compared to iNPH patients. In conclusion CSF PC 36:2, SM C24:1, S1P, and GlcCer can contribute to improve the differential diagnosis of patients with iNPH or AD and foster preventive therapeutic strategies in the early phase of the disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13639
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sep 11 2018


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