AIM: To study cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) concentrations of plasminogen activator inhibitor type-1 (PAI-1) in patients with neurological disease. METHODS: CSF PAI-1 concentrations were measured in 51 patients with neurological disease and 20 reference subjects using an ELISA. The patient group comprised three patients with viral meningitis, 20 with encephalitis, nine with acute lymphoblastic (n = 7) and myeloid (n = 2) leukaemia (with central nervous system involvement), and 19 with multiple sclerosis. RESULTS: Raised PAI-1 concentrations were observed in patients with leukaemia, encephalitis and multiple sclerosis. There was no difference in the mean concentrations of PAI-1 in patients with meningitis when compared with the reference subjects. The highest mean (SEM) PAI-1 concentration was found in patients with leukaemia (1.28 (0.36) ng/ml), and the next highest in those with encephalitis (1.19 (0.20) ng/ml). these values were much higher than those in patients with viral meningitis. In a previous report, raised CSF tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA) activities were detected in patients with multiple sclerosis, leukaemia and encephalitis, with mean activities in decreasing order. PAI-1 concentrations in the same patients were the reverse of their corresponding tPA activities, being higher in those with leukaemia and encephalitis, than in patients with multiple sclerosis. There was no association between CSF PAI-1 concentrations and age in either patients or controls. Similarly, there was no association between CSF PAI-1 concentrations and urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA). CONCLUSIONS: Raised CSF PAI-1 concentrations may be used as a non-specific marker of neurological disease. Moreover, PAI-1 may play an important role in regulating the functions tPA, and probably uPA, in CSF.
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