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Papers of the Week

Papers: 1 Jul 2023 - 7 Jul 2023

Basic Science, Methodology

Human Studies, Molecular/Cellular


2023 Jun 16

J Vis Exp



Detection and Quantification of Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide (CGRP) in Human Plasma Using a Modified Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay.


Krishnan PS, Zamuner FT, Jenks CM, Xie JY, Zhang L, Lehar M, Fedarko NS, Brait M, Carey JP


Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) is a vasoactive neuropeptide that plays a putative role in the pathophysiology of migraine headaches and may be a candidate for biomarker status. CGRP is released from neuronal fibers upon activation and induces sterile neurogenic inflammation and arterial vasodilation in the vasculature that receives trigeminal efferent innervation. The presence of CGRP in the peripheral vasculature has spurred investigations to detect and quantify this neuropeptide in human plasma using proteomic assays, such as the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). However, its half-life of 6.9 min and the variability in technical details of assay protocols, which are often not fully described, have yielded inconsistent CGRP ELISA data in the literature. Here, a modified ELISA protocol for the purification and quantification of CGRP in human plasma is presented. The procedural steps involve sample collection and preparation, extraction using a polar sorbent as a means of purification, additional steps to block non-specific binding, and quantification via ELISA. Further, the protocol has been validated with spike and recovery and linearity of dilution experiments. This validated protocol can theoretically be used to quantify CGRP concentrations in the plasma of individuals not only with migraine, but also with other diseases in which CGRP may play a role.