A novel method for the rapid detection of post-translationally modified visinin-like protein 1 in rat models of brain injury

Melissa A. Bradley-Whitman, Kelly N. Roberts, Erin L. Abner, Stephen W. Scheff, Bert C. Lynn, Mark A. Lovell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Although elevated serum levels of visinin-like protein 1 (VILIP-1), a neuron-specific calcium sensor protein, are associated with ischaemic stroke, only a single study has evaluated VILIP-1 as a biomarker of traumatic brain injury (TBI). The current proof-of-concept study was designed to determine whether serum VILIP-1 levels increase post-injury in a well-characterized rat unilateral cortical contusion model. Methods: Lateral flow devices (LFDs) rapidly (< 20 min) detected trace serum levels (pg/mL) of VILIP-1 in a small input sample volume (10 µL). Temporal profiles of serum levels at baseline and post-injury were measured in male Sprague Dawley rats subjected to very mild-, mild unilateral-cortical contusion, or naïve surgery and in male Sprague Dawley rats following a diffuse TBI or sham surgery. Results: Mean serum levels were significantly elevated by 0.5 h post-injury and remained so throughout the temporal profile compared with baseline in very mild and mild unilateral contusions but not in naïve surgeries. Serum levels were also elevated in a small cohort of animals subjected to a diffuse TBI injury. Conclusions: Overall, the current study demonstrates that the novel LFD is a reliable and rapid point-of-care diagnostic for the detection and quantification of serum levels of UB-VILIP-1 in a clinically relevant time frame.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-380
Number of pages18
JournalBrain Injury
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 23 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Kentucky Spinal Cord Head Injury Research Trust #13-7 (to MAL). Drs Lovell, Lynn, and Bradley-Whitman hold an equity interest in Fawkes Diagnostics LLC., which has licensed the use of the LFD for detection of VILIP-1 (Patent Number: US 9,482,675 B1).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Biomarker
  • head injury
  • mild brain injury
  • traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology


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