Objective: To investigate the plasma proteomic profiling in identifying biomarkers related to return to sport (RTS) following a sport-related concussion (SRC). Methods: This multicenter, prospective, case-control study was part of a larger cohort study conducted by the NCAA-DoD Concussion Assessment, Research, and Education (CARE) Consortium, athletes (n = 140) with blood collected within 48 h of injury and reported day to asymptomatic were included in this study, divided into two groups: (1) recovery <14-days (n = 99) and (2) recovery ≥14-days (n = 41). We applied a highly multiplexed proteomic technique that uses DNA aptamers assay to target 1,305 proteins in plasma samples from concussed athletes with <14-days and ≥14-days. Results: We identified 87 plasma proteins significantly dysregulated (32 upregulated and 55 downregulated) in concussed athletes with recovery ≥14-days relative to recovery <14-days groups. The significantly dysregulated proteins were uploaded to Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) software for analysis. Pathway analysis showed that significantly dysregulated proteins were associated with STAT3 pathway, regulation of the epithelial mesenchymal transition by growth factors pathway, and acute phase response signaling. Conclusion: Our data showed the feasibility of large-scale plasma proteomic profiling in concussed athletes with a <14-days and ≥ 14-days recovery. These findings provide a possible understanding of the pathophysiological mechanism in neurobiological recovery. Further study is required to determine whether these proteins can aid clinicians in RTS decisions.
- return to sport (RTS)
- sport injuries