Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal motor neuron disease for which the existing candidate biomarkers (neurofilaments) have low specificity. Changes in blood IgG N-glycosylation have been observed in several diseases, including ALS, whereas cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) IgG has been less studied. Here, we characterized N-glycans of CSF IgG from ALS patients in comparison with a control group of other neurological diseases. Cerebrospinal fluid was collected from patients with ALS (n = 26) and other neurological diseases (n = 10). N-Glycans were released from CSF purified IgG with peptide N-glycosidase F, labeled with 2-aminobenzamide and analyzed by NP-HPLC chromatography in combination with exoglycosidase digestion and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. The N-glycosylation profile of ALS CSF IgG consisted of diantennary N-glycans predominantly with proximal fucose and some bisecting GlcNAc; agalacto-, mono-, and digalactosylated as well as α2,6-sialylated structures were detected. Differences between ALS and control patients were observed; most relevant was the increase in ALS CSF IgG of the level of galactosylated structures defined here as Gal-index (median 46.87 and 40.50% for ALS and controls, respectively; p = 0.006). The predictive value of the Gal-index (AUC = 0.792, p = 0.007) considering ROC analysis had potential utility as a diagnostic test for ALS and was comparable to that of phosphoneurofilament heavy chain (AUC = 0.777, p = 0.011), which was used as benchmark marker for our group of patients. The results provide the basis to further explore the potential of IgG N-glycan galactosylation as biomarker for ALS by using larger cohorts of patients and controls.
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Cerebrospinal fluid
- Immunoglobulin G