Levels of clusterin, CD5L, ficolin-3, and gelsolin in ALS patients and controls

In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, there is a need for biomarkers to distinguish patients from controls, to follow disease progression and to provide information about the pathogenesis of disease. In a previous mass spectrometry study that searched for potential proteins of interest, we identified clusterin, CD5L, ficolin-3, and gelsolin as molecules that differed in abundance between ALS patients and controls, with a greater difference in patients with cognitive impairment. Here, we have measured levels of these molecules in plasma from a separate cohort of ALS patients and controls. The plasma was depleted of abundant plasma proteins. We confirmed our previous findings that levels of clusterin are decreased and ficolin-3 are increased in ALS patients compared to controls. In this study, we found that levels of CD5L were increased in patients with ALS and levels correlated with survival. We found that levels of gelsolin were modestly increased in ALS compared to controls whereas in our previous study these were decreased, especially in patients with cognitive impairment who were not included in this study. We suggest that clusterin and ficolin-3 deserve further study as potential ALS biomarkers.