Publications & Posters

Neurofilament Light Is A Treatment-Responsive Biomarker In CLN2 Disease


Ru Y, Corado C, Soon RK, Jr., Melton AC, Harris A, Yu GK, Pryer N, Sinclair JR, Katz ML, Ajayi T, Jacoby D, Russell CB and Chandriani S.
Ann Clin Transl Neurol. 2019.



Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis type 2 (CLN2 disease) is a rare, progressive, fatal neurodegenerative pediatric disorder resulting from deficiencies of the lysosomal enzyme tripeptidyl peptidase 1 that are caused by mutations in TPP1. Identifying biomarkers of CLN2 disease progression will be important in assessing the efficacy of therapeutic interventions for this disorder. Neurofilament light is an intrinsic component of healthy neurons; elevated circulating extracellular neurofilament light is a biomarker of neuropathology in several adult‐onset neurological diseases. Our objective was to assess whether circulating neurofilament light is a biomarker that is responsive to enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) in CLN2 disease.


Using an ultrasensitive immunoassay, we assessed plasma neurofilament light changes during disease progression in a canine model of CLN2 disease and in ERT clinical trial CLN2 disease patients.


In tripeptidyl peptidase 1 (TPP1)‐null dogs (N = 11), but not in control dogs [N = 6 (TPP1+/−) and N = 27 (WT)], neurofilament light levels increased more than tenfold above initial low baseline levels during disease progression. Before treatment in 21 human subjects with CLN2 disease (age range: 1.72–6.85 years), neurofilament light levels were 48‐fold higher (P < 0.001) than in 7 pediatric controls (age range: 8–11 years). Pretreatment neurofilament light did not significantly correlate with disease severity or age. In CLN2 disease subjects receiving ERT, neurofilament light levels decreased by 50% each year over more than 3 years of treatment.


Our data indicate that circulating neurofilament light is a treatment‐responsive biomarker in CLN2 disease and could contribute to understanding of the pathophysiology of this devastating pediatric disorder.