Visinin-like protein 1 (VILIP-1) recently emerged as a potential biomarker of Alzheimer's disease (AD). This neuronal calcium sensor protein previously used as a marker of acute ischemic stroke is elevated in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of AD patients. The goal of this study was to assess CSF VILIP-1 potential in early AD diagnosis and in differentiating mild cognitive impairment (MCI) patients with and without risk of AD. Additionally, we tested VILIP-1 ability to differentiate AD from other primary causes of dementia, and predict the progression of AD-related cognitive decline. VILIP-1 levels were compared with five CSF AD biomarkers (t-tau, Aβ1-42, p-tau181, p-tau199, and p-tau231). VILIP-1 successfully differentiated two MCI patient groups characterized by absence or presence of pathological levels of these CSF biomarkers, except for t-tau. VILIP-1/Aβ(1-42) and VILIP-1/p-tau181 ratios also differentiated MCI patients with pathological CSF biomarker levels. However, there was no difference in VILIP-1 levels between AD and MCI patients. VILIP-1/Aβ(1-42) and VILIP-1/p-tau231 ratios reached high sensitivities (above 70%) and very high specificities (above 85%) in differentiating AD patients from HC. Additionally, VILIP-1 differentiated AD from patients with Lewy body disease with 77.1% sensitivity and 100% specificity. VILIP-1 potential as a prognostic biomarker of cognitive decline in AD was also proved since VILIP-1/t-tau, VILIP-1/p-tau181, and VILIP-1/p-tau231 ratios correlated with MMSE scores. These data indicate that VILIP-1 alone or in combination with other AD CSF biomarkers represent a valuable marker for the early diagnosis of AD, recognition of MCI patients at higher risk to develop dementia, and in differentiating AD from LBD.
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; biomarker; cerebrospinal fluid; dementia; early diagnosis; mild cognitive impairment; visinin-like protein 1 (VILIP-1).