Several studies showed that the phosphorylated form of the neurofilament subunit NF-H (pNF-H) are related to neuronal injuries and its detection provide information about the presence and degree of neuronal loss. Neurofilaments are three subunits, namely NF-L, NF-M and NF-H. The phosphorylated neurofilament subunit NF-H (pNF-H) is present into serum and CSF in significant amounts following neuronal injury and may be detected. The pNF-H can be a biomarker of the neuronal injuries and its detection allows the monitoring neuronal pathology and may provide diagnosis and prognosis in humans.
We are interested in pNF-H as biomarker of neuronal injury in spinal cord injury and we used a pNF-H ELISA test capable of detecting the levels of phosphorylated NF-H (pNF-H) to patients with spinal cord injury. We studied the pNF-H levels in CSF in two patients with spinal cord injury (SCI) and for normal values of pNF-H we determined the CSF pNF-H level from individuals without neurological damage.
The pNF-H values of CSF from the two patients with SCI were 5-10 times higher than the normal and its higher values were related to an unfavorable outcome.
In conclusion, although the number of cases is very low - only two, in the context of experimental studies in animals with SCI, we can say that pNF-H is marker in SCI in humans and its increased values are consistent with an unfavorable outcome.