Background: Brain injury triggers neuroaxonal injury and neural death, that leads to the development of secondary sequelae. Throughout this process, brain injury factors released into circulation via the injured neurovascular unit are important prognostic parameters. Plasma NfL, NfH, MCP-1, and MMP-9 have been identified as potential indicators in this regard.
Methods: Using a microfluidic ELISA platform, we measured plasma from 273 healthy subjects that underwent quantifications of NfL, NfH, MCP-1, and MMP-9 levels. We investigated the possible associations between biomarkers and basic demographics.
Results: The median concentration of plasma NfL was 10.40 (IQR = 6.73 - 16.60) pg/mL, NfH was 70.70 (IQR = 39.75 - 125.50) pg/mL, MCP-1 was 191.0 (IQR = 162.0 - 237.5) pg/mL, and MMP-9 was 169,255 (IQR = 107,657 - 231,276) pg/mL. Among all four biomarkers, plasma NfL and NfH levels were positively correlated with age (r = 0.557, p < 0.001, r = 0.364, p = 0.003). NfL was also correlated with NfH (r = 0.391, p = 0.002).
Conclusions: These data provide a basis for the potential application of a brain-injury biomarker panel in routine clinical practice. It lays a significant foundation in supporting circulating CNS-biomarkers as noninvasive biomarkers for neurological disorders.