Heart-type fatty acid binding protein and vascular endothelial growth factor: cerebrospinal fluid biomarker candidates for Alzheimer’s disease

  • Liang-Hao Guo
  • Panagiotis Alexopoulos
  • Robert Perneczky
Original Paper


The main objective of the study was to validate the findings of previous cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) proteomic studies for the differentiation between Alzheimer’s disease (AD) dementia and physiological ageing. The most consistently significant proteins in the separation between AD dementia versus normal controls using CSF proteomics were identified in the literature. The classification performance of the four pre-selected proteins was explored in 92 controls, 149 patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and 69 patients with AD dementia. Heart-type fatty acid binding protein (hFABP) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) CSF concentrations distinguished between healthy controls and patients with AD dementia with a sensitivity and specificity of 57 and 35 %, and 76 and 84 %, respectively. The optimal classification was achieved by a combination of the two additional CSF biomarker candidates in conjunction with the three established markers Amyloid-β (Aβ)1–42, total-Tau (tTau), and phosphorylated-Tau (pTau)181, which resulted in a sensitivity of 83 % and a specificity of 86 %. hFABP also predicted the progression from MCI to AD dementia. The present study provides evidence in support of hFABP and VEGF in CSF as AD biomarker candidates to be used in combination with the established markers Aβ1–42, tTau, and pTau181.


Alzheimer’s disease Biomarker Cerebrospinal fluid Diagnosis Proteomics 



Data collection and sharing for this project was funded by the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) (National Institutes of Health Grant U01 AG024904). ADNI is funded by the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, and through generous contributions from the following: Abbott; Alzheimer’s Association; Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation; Amorfix Life Sciences Ltd.; AstraZeneca; Bayer HealthCare; BioClinica, Inc.; Biogen Idec Inc.; Bristol-Myers Squibb Company; Eisai Inc.; Elan Pharmaceuticals Inc.; Eli Lilly and Company; F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd and its affiliated company Genentech, Inc.; GE Healthcare; Innogenetics, N.V.; Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy Research & Development, LLC.; Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development LLC.; Medpace, Inc.; Merck & Co., Inc.; Meso Scale Diagnostics, LLC.; Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation; Pfizer Inc.; Servier; Synarc Inc.; and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company. The Canadian Institutes of Health Research is providing funds to support ADNI clinical sites in Canada. Private sector contributions are facilitated by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health ( The grantee organisation is the Northern California Institute for Research and Education, and the study is coordinated by the Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study at the University of California, San Diego. ADNI data are disseminated by the Laboratory for NeuroImaging at the University of California, Los Angeles. This research was also supported by NIH grants P30 AG010129 and K01 AG030514. The sponsors did not have any role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; and preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript. The corresponding author had full access to all the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. The authors wish to thank Dorottya Ruisz for proofreading.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

406_2013_405_MOESM1_ESM.doc (162 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 162 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liang-Hao Guo
    • 1
  • Panagiotis Alexopoulos
    • 1
  • Robert Perneczky
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and PsychotherapyTechnische Universität MünchenMunichGermany
  2. 2.Neuroepidemiology and Ageing Research Unit, School of Public Health, Faculty of MedicineThe Imperial College of Science, Technology and MedicineLondonUK
  3. 3.West London Cognitive Disorders Treatment and Research UnitWest London Mental Health TrustLondonUK

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