• Cerebrospinal fluid;
  • dog;
  • ELISA;
  • myelin basic protein;
  • myelopathy

Background: Analysis of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is part of a routine clinical workup in veterinary patients when neurologic disease is suspected. However, knowledge of particular protein markers of disease in CSF is limited. The concentration of myelin basic protein (MBP) in CSF is used as a biochemical marker in humans to evaluate demyelinating lesions in the central nervous system (CNS). Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate an ELISA for determination of MBP concentration in the CSF of German shepherd dogs with degenerative myelopathy (GSDM). Methods: Cross-reactivity of the anti-human polyclonal antibody used in a commercial ELISA (Active MBP ELISA, Diagnostic Systems Laboratories Inc, Webster, TX, USA) was tested with canine MBP by immunoblotting. CSF samples were collected from both the cisterna magna and the lumbar cistern of 8 clinically healthy control dogs and 8 German shepherd dogs clinically diagnosed with GSDM. MBP concentrations were measured in all CSF samples using the ELISA. Results: The mean MBP concentration in CSF from the lumbar cistern of dogs with GSDM (3.13 ± 0.46 ng/mL) was significantly higher than that in the cisterna magna (0.70 ± 0.06 ng/mL) and from both cisternal (0.47 ± 0.07 ng/mL) and lumbar (0.94 ± 0.37 ng/mL) samples from control dogs. Conclusion: The MBP ELISA has potential as a supplemental test of CSF to diagnose demyelinating disorders in dogs.