Extracellular matrix protein expression in cerebrospinal fluid from patients with tropical spastic paraparesis associated with HTLV-I and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease
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The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is in direct contact with the extracellular space of the CNS, thus biochemical processes in the CNS could potentially be reflected in the CSF. Changes in extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins can be studied through their analysis in the CSF. ECM plays an essential role in CNS homeostasis and several proteins such as laminin (LN), fibronectin (FN), thrombospondin (TS) and heparan sulphate proteoglycan (HS, perlecan) form part of its structure. Possible changes in the levels of these proteins were investigated in two different pathologies - tropical spastic paraparesis/ HTLV-I-associated myelopathy (TSP/HAM) (n = 25) and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) (n = 19) - and compared with those in a control group with or without neurological disease (n = 25). CSF analyses were carried out using monoclonal or monospecific polyclonal antibodies. In comparison with the control group, it was found that TSP/HAM patients presented significantly higher levels of LN, TS and HS, while in CJD patients the levels of FN, TS and HS were increased. In CJD patients the HS level was almost double that of the TSP/ HAM patients. These results suggest a distinct pattern of ECM proteins in CSF in relation to the type of neurological disease. TSP/ HAM is a chronic motor disease that affects the white matter of the spinal cord, while CJD is a subacute dementia that affects cerebral neurons and their synapsis.