Cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy is associated with loss of tolerance to profilin

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3 Scopus citations


Childhood cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy (cALD) is a devastating manifestation of ALD accompanied by demyelination, inflammation, and blood brain barrier (BBB) disruption with shared characteristics of an auto-immune disease. We utilized plasma samples pre- and postdevelopment of cALD to determine the presence of specific auto-antibodies. Mass spectrometry of protein specifically bound with post-cALD plasma antibody identified Profilin1 (PFN1) as the target. In a screen of 94 boys with cALD 48 (51%) had anti-PFN1 antibodies, whereas only 2/29 boys with ALD but without cerebral disease, and 0/30 healthy controls showed anti-PFN1 immunoreactivity. Cerebral spinal fluid from those with cALD showed higher levels of PFN1 protein compared with non-cALD samples (324 ± 634 versus 42 ± 23 pg/mL, p = 0.04). Boys that were anti-PFN positive had a significant increase in the amount of gadolinium signal observed on MRI when compared to boys that were anti-PFN1 negative (p = 0.04) possibly indicating increased BBB disruption. Anti-PFN1 positivity was also associated with elevated levels of very long chain fatty acids (C26 of 1.12 ± 0.41 versus 0.97 ± 0.30 mg/dL, p = 0.03) and increased plasma BAFF (973 ± 277 versus 733 ± 269 pg/mL, p = 0.03). In conclusion, anti-PFN may be a novel biomarker associated with the development of cALD in boys with ALD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)947-953
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2019


  • Adrenoleukodystrophy
  • Auto-antibody
  • Inflammation
  • Profilin
  • Tolerance

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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