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Reduction of PrP(C) in human cerebrospinal fluid after spinal cord injury.

Author(s): Carnini A, Casha S, Yong VW, Hurlbert RJ, Braun JE

Affiliation(s): Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Calgary, Calgary, AL, CA.

Publication date & source: 2010-04, Prion., 4(2):80-6. Epub 2010 Apr 10.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

It has been estimated that cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) contains approximately 80 proteins that significantly increase or decrease in response to various clinical conditions. Here we have evaluated the CSF protein PrP(C) (cellular prion protein) for possible increases or decreases following spinal cord injury. The physiological function of PrP(C) is not yet completely understood; however, recent findings suggest that PrP(C) may have neuroprotective properties. Our results show that CSF PrP(C) is decreased in spinal cord injured patients 12 h following injury and is absent at 7 days. Given that normal PrP(C) has been proposed to be neuroprotective we speculate that the decrease in CSF PrP(C) levels may influence neuronal cell survival following spinal cord injury.

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