Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Serum angiogenin levels are elevated in ALS, but not Parkinson's disease
  1. Michael A van Es1,
  2. Jan H Veldink1,
  3. Helenius J Schelhaas2,
  4. Bastiaan R Bloem2,
  5. Peter Sodaar1,
  6. Bart F L van Nuenen2,3,
  7. Marcel Verbeek2,4,
  8. Bart P van de Warrenburg2,
  9. Leonard H van den Berg1
  1. 1 Department of Neurology, Brain Center Rudolf Magnus, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  2. 2 Department of Neurology, Radboud University Medical Center, Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Center for Neuroscience, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  3. 3 Department of Neurology, Catharina Hospital, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
  4. 4 Department of Laboratory Medicine, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Professor Leonard H van den Berg, Department of Neurology, Brain Center Rudolf Magnus, University Medical Center Utrecht, Heidelberglaan 100, Utrecht 3584 CX, The Netherlands; l.h.vandenberg{at}

Statistics from


Mice lacking the hypoxia responsive element in the promoter of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) develop a phenotype with weakness and pathological reflexes that resemble amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). A subsequent study demonstrated an association between polymorphisms in the promoter of VEGF and ALS in humans. Therefore other angiogenic genes were investigated in ALS, which showed mutations in angiogenin (ANG) in patients with familial and sporadic ALS.1 A recent study confirmed this association and also demonstrated that ANG mutations predispose to Parkinson's disease (PD).2 The association with PD has independently been replicated.

It is not known how mutations in ANG lead to neurodegeneration. The ANG protein is involved in the transcription of ribosomal DNA, RNA metabolism, neurite outgrowth and axonal pathfinding. Cell survival assays show that wild type ANG is capable of rescuing cells containing ANG mutations from death when challenged with toxic agents, suggesting ANG is a potent neuroprotective factor.3 Functional studies have demonstrated that most mutations result in a loss of function.3

A small study demonstrated elevated serum ANG levels in patients with ALS,4 which could however not be replicated in a later study.5 Here, we compared serum ANG levels in a large cohort of patients with ALS and PD with controls.


Two hundred and sixty-five serum samples were available from patients with sporadic ALS, all of which were referred to the University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU) and diagnosed according to the revised El Escorial criteria. One hundred and sixty-three serum samples were available from …

View Full Text

Supplementary materials

  • Supplementary Data

    This web only file has been produced by the BMJ Publishing Group from an electronic file supplied by the author(s) and has not been edited for content.

    Files in this Data Supplement:

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.