Cerebrospinal fluid lysosomal enzymes and alpha-synuclein in Parkinson's disease

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To assess the discriminating power of multiple cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers for Parkinson's disease (PD), we measured several proteins playing an important role in the disease pathogenesis. The activities of β-glucocerebrosidase and other lysosomal enzymes, together with total and oligomeric α-synuclein, and total and phosphorylated tau, were thus assessed in CSF of 71 PD patients and compared to 45 neurological controls. Activities of β-glucocerebrosidase, β-mannosidase, β-hexosaminidase, and β-galactosidase were measured with established enzymatic assays, while α-synuclein and tau biomarkers were evaluated with immunoassays. A subset of PD patients (n = 44) was also screened for mutations in the β-glucocerebrosidase-encoding gene (GBA1). In the PD group, β-glucocerebrosidase activity was reduced (P < 0.05) and patients at earlier stages showed lower enzymatic activity (P < 0.05); conversely, β-hexosaminidase activity was significantly increased (P < 0.05). Eight PD patients (18%) presented GBA1 sequence variations; 3 of them were heterozygous for the N370S mutation. Levels of total α-synuclein were significantly reduced (P < 0.05) in PD, in contrast to increased levels of α-synuclein oligomers, with a higher oligomeric/total α-synuclein ratio in PD patients when compared with controls (P < 0.001). A combination of β-glucocerebrosidase activity, oligomeric/total α-synuclein ratio, and age gave the best performance in discriminating PD from neurological controls (sensitivity 82%; specificity 71%, area under the receiver operating characteristic curve = 0.87). These results demonstrate the possibility of detecting lysosomal dysfunction in CSF and further support the need to combine different biomarkers for improving the diagnostic accuracy of PD. © 2014 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society

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