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.
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Acknowledgments: We gratefully acknowledge the funding received from Oliver’s Army. We thank the Cytokine Reference Laboratory for their assistance in this project.
We gratefully acknowledge the funding received from Oliver's Army. We thank the Cytokine Reference Laboratory for their assistance in this project.
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