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. 2019 Sep 4;13:929.
doi: 10.3389/fnins.2019.00929. eCollection 2019.

Increased Serum Levels of Mesencephalic Astrocyte-Derived Neurotrophic Factor in Subjects With Parkinson's Disease

Free PMC article

Increased Serum Levels of Mesencephalic Astrocyte-Derived Neurotrophic Factor in Subjects With Parkinson's Disease

Emilia Galli et al. Front Neurosci. .
Free PMC article


Background: Mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor (MANF) and cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor (CDNF) promote the survival of midbrain dopamine neurons in animal models of Parkinson's disease (PD). However, little is known about endogenous concentrations of MANF and CDNF in human PD patients, and their relation to PD pathogenesis. Our main objective was to study whether circulating concentrations of MANF and CDNF differ between PD patients and controls, and if they correlate with clinical parameters. Levels of circulating CDNF were studied for the first time.

Methods: MANF and CDNF levels were measured from serum samples of 34 PD patients and 35 controls using validated in-lab-designed enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISAs). MANF and CDNF mRNA levels in whole blood samples of 60 PD patients and 30 controls were measured by quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). MANF concentrations in different blood cell types were measured by ELISA.

Results: Circulating MANF concentrations were significantly higher in PD patients compared to controls (P < 0.001) and were positively correlated with Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) depression rating. MANF protein was present in blood cells, however, MANF mRNA levels in the blood did not differ between PD patients and controls (P = 0.44). The mean concentration of serum CDNF was 33 pg/ml in the controls. CDNF levels were not altered in PD patients (P = 0.25).

Conclusion: MANF but not CDNF level was increased in the blood of PD patients. It would be interesting to examine the blood level of MANF from early stage PD patients in future studies to test whether MANF can be used as a clinical marker of PD.

Keywords: CDNF; ELISA; MANF; Parkinson’s disease; blood.


(A) Increased levels of circulating MANF (Mann–Whitney U-test, P < 0.001) in PD patients versus controls as measured by in-lab-designed ELISA. (B) Positive correlation between MANF concentration and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) score in PD patients (rs = 0.42; P = 0.02). (C) The average level of serum MANF was higher in PD patients scoring 18 or more BDI points than in patients with scores of 17 or less (Mann–Whitney U-test, P = 0.031). (D) MANF mRNA levels do not differ between the blood of PD patients and controls (t-test, P = 0.44).
(A) Similar levels of serum CDNF in PD patients and controls as measured by in-lab-designed hCDNF ELISA (Mann–Whitney U-test, P = 0.25). LLOD; lower limit of detection when samples are diluted 1:4. (B) Positive correlation of MANF and CDNF levels in the sera of PD patients (rs = 0.41, P = 0.016). (C) Increased levels of CDNF mRNA in the blood of PD patients compared to controls (t-test, P = 0.015).

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