High Serum GFAP Levels in SCA3/MJD May Not Correlate with Disease Progression

Yuting Shi, Chunrong Wang, Fengzhen Huang, Zhao Chen, Zhanfang Sun, Junling Wang, Beisha Tang, Tetsuo Ashizawa, Thomas Klockgether, Hong Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Spinocerebellar ataxia type 3(SCA3), also known as Machado-Joseph disease (MJD), is the most frequent subtype of autosomal dominant inherited spinocerebellar ataxias, which caused by the expansion of CAG repeats in the ATXN3 gene. The number of CAG repeats of the abnormal allele determines the rate of disease progression in patients with SCA3/MJD. Markers to assess the clinical severity, to predict the course of illness and to monitor the efficacy of therapeutic measures, can be clinical, biological, and radiological. Here, we aimed to explore whether the serum glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) may act as a biomarker in SCA3/MJD patients and to evaluate the correlation between some markers with the number of CAG repeats in SCA3/MJD patients. We showed that the serum levels of GFAP were significantly higher in SCA3/MJD patients than in controls. There was a strong positive correlation between the age-adjusted GFAP levels with the number of CAG repeats. Age-adjusted International Cooperative Ataxia Rating Scale (ICARS) scores and Scale for the Assessment and Rating of Ataxia (SARA) scores correlated with the number of CAG repeats. Raw scores and disease duration-adjusted GFAP levels, ICARS scores, and SARA scores were not correlated with the number of CAG repeats. Our results reveal novel evidence for the role of the triplet expansion in SCA3/MJD-associated neuronal damage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)677-681
Number of pages5
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • ATXN3
  • Biomarker
  • CAG
  • GFAP
  • SCA3/MJD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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