Cystatin C (CC) is a cysteine protease inhibitor abundantly expressed in the central nervous system. Bunina bodies, small eosinophilic intraneuronal inclusions, are stain positive for CC and are the most specific histological hallmark of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In this study, employing a latex turbidimetric immunoassay, levels of CC in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) were quantified in 130 age-matched individuals with either a neurological disorder [ALS, Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), tauopathy (TP), multiple system atrophy (MSA), chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP)] or no known neurological condition (normal control, NC). The CC level in CSF was found to be correlated with the age during the investigation but not the protein concentration. There was no difference in CC levels between NC and ALS or CIDP cases, whereas CC levels were significantly lower in MSA compared with NC. Of the 130 cases, 96 were genotyped, and G/A or A/A polymorphism at +73 within the CST3 gene was found in 28 individuals. The CC level was significantly lower in the combined group of G/A and A/A genotypes compared with GIG. The present data demonstrate that the level of CC in CSF should not be considered as a biomarker of ALS, but there is a correlation between CC levels and the CST3 genotype. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.