Application of proteomics technology to the field of neurotrauma

Nancy Denslow, Mary Ellen Michel, Meredith D. Temple, Chung Y. Hsu, Kathryn Saatman, Ronald L. Hayes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Near-completion of the Human Genome Project has stimulated scientists to begin looking for the next step in unraveling normal and abnormal functions within biological systems. Consequently, there is new focus on the role of proteins in these processes. Proteomics is a burgeoning field that may provide a valuable approach to evaluate the post-traumatic central nervous system (CNS). Although we cannot provide a comprehensive assessment of all methods for protein analysis, this report summarizes some of the newer proteomic technologies that have propelled this field into the limelight and that are available to most researchers in neurotrauma. Three technical approaches (two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, direct analysis by mass spectrometry, including two-dimensional chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry and isotope coded affinity tags, and antibody technologies) are reviewed, and their advantages and disadvantages presented. A discussion of proteomic technology in the context of brain and spinal cord trauma follows, addressing current and future challenges. Proteomics will likely be very useful for developing diagnostic predictors after CNS injury and for mapping changes in proteins after injury in order to identify new therapeutic targets. Neurotrauma results in complex alterations to the biological systems within the nervous system, and these changes evolve over time. Exploration of the "new nervous system" that follows injury will require methods that can both fully assess and simplify this complexity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-407
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2003


  • Brain trauma
  • Mass spectroscopy
  • Proteomics
  • Spinal cord trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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