Publications by authors named "Markus Axelsson"

36 Publications

A multicentre validation study of the diagnostic value of plasma neurofilament light.

Nat Commun 2021 06 7;12(1):3400. Epub 2021 Jun 7.

Translational Neuroimaging Laboratory, The McGill University Research Centre for Studies in Aging, Montreal, QC, Canada.

Increased cerebrospinal fluid neurofilament light (NfL) is a recognized biomarker for neurodegeneration that can also be assessed in blood. Here, we investigate plasma NfL as a marker of neurodegeneration in 13 neurodegenerative disorders, Down syndrome, depression and cognitively unimpaired controls from two multicenter cohorts: King's College London (n = 805) and the Swedish BioFINDER study (n = 1,464). Plasma NfL was significantly increased in all cortical neurodegenerative disorders, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and atypical parkinsonian disorders. We demonstrate that plasma NfL is clinically useful in identifying atypical parkinsonian disorders in patients with parkinsonism, dementia in individuals with Down syndrome, dementia among psychiatric disorders, and frontotemporal dementia in patients with cognitive impairment. Data-driven cut-offs highlighted the fundamental importance of age-related clinical cut-offs for disorders with a younger age of onset. Finally, plasma NfL performs best when applied to indicate no underlying neurodegeneration, with low false positives, in all age-related cut-offs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-23620-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8185001PMC
June 2021

Persons with suspicious onset of multiple sclerosis but with undetermined diagnosis had persistent lower cognition and reduced quality of life.

Mult Scler Relat Disord 2021 Apr 24;52:102977. Epub 2021 Apr 24.

Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, Gothenburg University, Gotheburg, Sweden; Department of Neurology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Backgound: Differential diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) includes a variety of disorders and misdiagnosis is common.

Objective: To follow-up persons with suspected onset of MS but in whom the diagnostic investigation was negative.

Methods: In a prospective study including 271 persons with clinical features of suspected MS onset, 136 persons were diagnosed with MS or clinically isolated syndrome (PwMS), 46 had other disorders, and 89 persons had a negative diagnostic work-up, i.e. persons with undetermined diagnosis (PwUD). They underwent diagnostic reassessment, and those who remained without a diagnosis were investigated for signs of pathology including cognitive tests and assessments of quality of life (QoL). Results were compared with those of PwMS and 24 age and sex matched healthy controls (HC).

Results: After reassement 55 (20%) persons still had undetermined diagnosis (PwUD). They had similar age and gender distribution as PwMS. In 76% of PwUD, the suspected clinical onset included sensory symptoms. PwUD and PwMS scored similarly in cognitive tests and QoL but significantly lower than HC. At 3 years follow-up, PwMS and PwUD improved in most test parameters, but PwUD scored lower than PwMS in cognition.

Conclusion: PwUD constituted the dominating differential diagnosis in persons with suspected clinical onset of MS. QoL and cognition were comparable with those of PwMS but significantly lower than in HC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2021.102977DOI Listing
April 2021

Autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation compared with alemtuzumab for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: an observational study.

J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2021 02 26;92(2):189-194. Epub 2020 Oct 26.

Department of Neuroscience, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

Objective: To compare outcomes after treatment with autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (AHSCT) and alemtuzumab (ALZ) in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.

Methods: Patients treated with AHSCT (n=69) received a conditioning regimen of cyclophosphamide (200 mg/kg) and rabbit anti-thymocyte globulinerG (6.0 mg/kg). Patients treated with ALZ (n=75) received a dose of 60 mg over 5 days, a repeated dose of 36 mg over 3 days after 1 year and then as needed. Follow-up visits with assessment of the expanded disability status scale score, adverse events and MR investigations were made at least yearly.

Results: The Kaplan-Meier estimates of the primary outcome measure 'no evidence of disease activity' was 88% for AHSCT and 37% for ALZ at 3 years, p<0.0001. The secondary endpoint of annualised relapse rate was 0.04 for AHSCT and 0.1 for ALZ, p=0.03. At last follow-up, the proportions of patients who improved, were stable or worsened were 57%/41%/1% (AHSCT) and 45%/43%/12% (ALZ), p=0.06 Adverse events grade three or higher were present in 48/69 patients treated with AHSCT and 0/75 treated with ALZ in the first 100 days after treatment initiation. The most common long-term adverse event was thyroid disease with Kaplan-Meier estimates at 3 years of 21% for AHSCT and 46% for ALZ, p=0.005.

Conclusions: In this observational cohort study, treatment with AHSCT was associated with a higher likelihood of maintaining 'no evidence of disease activity'. Adverse events were more frequent with AHSCT in the first 100 days, but thereafter more common in patients treated with ALZ.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jnnp-2020-323992DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7841472PMC
February 2021

Can multiple sclerosis be cured? A case of highly active relapsing multiple sclerosis treated with autologous hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation 13 years ago.

Mult Scler Relat Disord 2020 Sep 2;44:102253. Epub 2020 Jun 2.

Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, The Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.

A 26-year-old man, with five years of highly active deteriorating relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS), unresponsive to conventional therapy, was treated with autologous hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (AHSCT) 13 years ago. Since then the patient had no clinical or neuroradiological disease activity and disability progression was halted. Repeated analysis of CSF revealed reduced levels of inflammatory biomarkers and the neurofilament light protein level was normalized indicating no further axonal degeneration. The patient is socio-economic independent, is working full time, and has become a father. Measures of quality of life and cognition did not indicate further deterioration. Long-term follow-up has not shown any signs of active disease suggesting that AHSCT may be a cure for MS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2020.102253DOI Listing
September 2020

Inflammation-related plasma and CSF biomarkers for multiple sclerosis.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2020 06 26;117(23):12952-12960. Epub 2020 May 26.

Neuroimmunology Unit, Center of Molecular Medicine, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska University Hospital, Karolinska Institutet, SE-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden;

Effective biomarkers for multiple sclerosis diagnosis, assessment of prognosis, and treatment responses, in particular those measurable in blood, are largely lacking. We have investigated a broad set of protein biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and plasma using a highly sensitive proteomic immunoassay. Cases from two independent cohorts were compared with healthy controls and patients with other neurological diseases. We identified and replicated 10 cerebrospinal fluid proteins including IL-12B, CD5, MIP-1a, and CXCL9 which had a combined diagnostic efficacy similar to immunoglobulin G (IgG) index and neurofilament light chain (area under the curve [AUC] = 0.95). Two plasma proteins, OSM and HGF, were also associated with multiple sclerosis in comparison to healthy controls. Sensitivity and specificity of combined CSF and plasma markers for multiple sclerosis were 85.7% and 73.5%, respectively. In the discovery cohort, eotaxin-1 (CCL11) was associated with disease duration particularly in patients who had secondary progressive disease ( < 4 × 10, < 4 × 10), and plasma CCL20 was associated with disease severity ( = 4 × 10), although both require further validation. Treatment with natalizumab and fingolimod showed different compartmental changes in protein levels of CSF and peripheral blood, respectively, including many disease-associated markers (e.g., IL12B, CD5) showing potential application for both diagnosing disease and monitoring treatment efficacy. We report a number of multiple sclerosis biomarkers in CSF and plasma for early disease detection and potential indicators for disease activity. Of particular importance is the set of markers discovered in blood, where validated biomarkers are lacking.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1912839117DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7293699PMC
June 2020

Intrathecal immunoreactivity in people with or without previous infectious mononucleosis.

Acta Neurol Scand 2020 Aug 10;142(2):161-168. Epub 2020 Jun 10.

Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, The Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Objectives: The risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) increases (OR: 3.1) after infectious mononucleosis (IM). However, the nature of this link is obscure. We tested the hypothesis that IM might incur long-term sequelae, including low-key inflammatory activity, with characteristics of an MS endophenotype (or presymptomatic trait) and that assays of MS-relevant cyto-/chemokines in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) post-IM may show a trend in this direction.

Materials And Methods: We selected seven CSF cytokines (IL-1b, IL-6, YKL-40, TNF-alpha) or chemokines (IL-8, CCL2, IP-10), representing pro-inflammatory factors previously associated with MS. We assayed the CSF levels of these seven cyto-/chemokines in healthy individuals with a median follow-up time of 10 years after serologically confirmed IM (post-IM group, n = 22), and in healthy controls without a history of IM (n = 19). A group of MS patients (n = 23) were included as reference.

Results: The CSF levels of IP-10, YKL-40, and CCL-2 were higher in the post-IM group than in our IM unexposed controls (P = .021, .049, .028). Seven of seven cyto-/chemokine assays showed a trend in the predicted direction (P of binomial ratio = .008). However, this trend was non-significant in a multivariate test (P = .22). A power analysis indicated that similar studies including a larger cohort would be numerically realistic.

Conclusions: These results do not reject the hypothesis that the established epidemiological association between IM and MS results from a stepwise inflammatory propagation from IM sequelae to an MS endophenotype (or presymptomatic trait) in a proportion of IM patients, pending confirmation with adequate power.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ane.13280DOI Listing
August 2020

Cerebrospinal fluid growth-associated protein 43 in multiple sclerosis.

Sci Rep 2019 11 21;9(1):17309. Epub 2019 Nov 21.

Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Neurodegeneration in multiple sclerosis (MS) correlates with disease progression and reparative processes may be triggered. Growth-associated protein 43 (GAP-43) exhibits induced expression during axonal growth and reduced expression during MS progression. We aimed to evaluate if GAP-43 can serve as a biomarker of regeneration in relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) and whether disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) influence GAP-43 concentration in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). GAP-43 was measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in 105 MS patients (73 RRMS, 12 primary progressive MS, 20 secondary progressive MS) and 23 healthy controls (HCs). In 35 of the patients, lumbar puncture, clinical assessment, and magnetic resonance imaging was performed before initiation of therapeutic intervention, and at follow-up. CSF GAP-43 concentration was significantly lower in progressive MS compared with HCs (p = 0.004) and RRMS (p =  < 0.001) and correlated negatively with disability (p = 0.026). However, DMTs did not alter CSF GAP-43. Interestingly, in RRMS CSF GAP-43 levels were higher in patients with signs of active inflammatory disease than in patients in remission (p = 0.042). According to CSF GAP-43 concentrations, regeneration seems reduced in progressive MS, increased during disease activity in RRMS but is unaffected by treatment of highly active DMTs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-54032-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6872811PMC
November 2019

Neuronal antibodies in adult patients with new-onset seizures: A prospective study.

Brain Behav 2019 11 6;9(11):e01442. Epub 2019 Oct 6.

Department of Neurology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.

Objectives: Immunotherapy in addition to antiepileptic drugs can improve seizure freedom rates in autoimmune epilepsy, highlighting the importance of early diagnosis. A diagnosis of autoimmune epilepsy can be supported by presence of serum antibodies to neuronal antigens. We asked how often neuronal antibodies are found in the serum of unselected adult patients with new-onset seizures and whether such testing could improve detection of autoimmune epilepsy.

Material And Methods: We included 44 patients over the age of 25 presenting after at least one unprovoked seizure to the Neurology Clinic at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden. The median time between the first-ever seizure in life and the serum sampling was 50 days (range 22-11,000). Antibody testing in serum was performed according to the manufacturer's instructions. The patients were followed for at least 1 year.

Results: Epilepsy could be diagnosed already at the first visit in 21/44 patients (47.7%). Two patients (4.5%) were positive for neuronal antibodies: one against contactin-associated protein 2 (CASPR-2) and one against glutamate acid decarboxylase (GAD). Three patients (6.7%) displayed very weak immunoreactivity that was deemed clinically insignificant. One of the antibody-positive patients had only a single seizure. The other had a focal cortical dysplasia and was seizure-free on levetiracetam. None of the five patients with antibodies or immunoreactivity displayed any feature of autoimmune epilepsy.

Conclusions: We conclude that indiscriminate testing in patients presenting to a first seizure clinic with new-onset seizures or epilepsy is unlikely to improve detection of autoimmune epilepsy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/brb3.1442DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6851805PMC
November 2019

Diagnostic Value of Cerebrospinal Fluid Neurofilament Light Protein in Neurology: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

JAMA Neurol 2019 Sep;76(9):1035-1048

Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg.

Importance: Neurofilament light protein (NfL) is elevated in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of a number of neurological conditions compared with healthy controls (HC) and is a candidate biomarker for neuroaxonal damage. The influence of age and sex is largely unknown, and levels across neurological disorders have not been compared systematically to date.

Objectives: To assess the associations of age, sex, and diagnosis with NfL in CSF (cNfL) and to evaluate its potential in discriminating clinically similar conditions.

Data Sources: PubMed was searched for studies published between January 1, 2006, and January 1, 2016, reporting cNfL levels (using the search terms neurofilament light and cerebrospinal fluid) in neurological or psychiatric conditions and/or in HC.

Study Selection: Studies reporting NfL levels measured in lumbar CSF using a commercially available immunoassay, as well as age and sex.

Data Extraction And Synthesis: Individual-level data were requested from study authors. Generalized linear mixed-effects models were used to estimate the fixed effects of age, sex, and diagnosis on log-transformed NfL levels, with cohort of origin modeled as a random intercept.

Main Outcome And Measure: The cNfL levels adjusted for age and sex across diagnoses.

Results: Data were collected for 10 059 individuals (mean [SD] age, 59.7 [18.8] years; 54.1% female). Thirty-five diagnoses were identified, including inflammatory diseases of the central nervous system (n = 2795), dementias and predementia stages (n = 4284), parkinsonian disorders (n = 984), and HC (n = 1332). The cNfL was elevated compared with HC in a majority of neurological conditions studied. Highest levels were observed in cognitively impaired HIV-positive individuals (iHIV), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, frontotemporal dementia (FTD), and Huntington disease. In 33.3% of diagnoses, including HC, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer disease (AD), and Parkinson disease (PD), cNfL was higher in men than women. The cNfL increased with age in HC and a majority of neurological conditions, although the association was strongest in HC. The cNfL overlapped in most clinically similar diagnoses except for FTD and iHIV, which segregated from other dementias, and PD, which segregated from atypical parkinsonian syndromes.

Conclusions And Relevance: These data support the use of cNfL as a biomarker of neuroaxonal damage and indicate that age-specific and sex-specific (and in some cases disease-specific) reference values may be needed. The cNfL has potential to assist the differentiation of FTD from AD and PD from atypical parkinsonian syndromes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2019.1534DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6580449PMC
September 2019

Cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers in patients with neurological symptoms but without neurological diseases.

Acta Neurol Scand 2019 Sep 31;140(3):177-183. Epub 2019 May 31.

Department of Neurology, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Background: Elevated levels of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) neuronal injury markers (neurofilament light chain [NF-L] and total tau protein [t-tau]) and of the astroglial marker glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) are found in etiologically different neurological disorders affecting the peripheral and the central nervous system.

Aims: To explore the role of CSF biomarkers in the clinical management of patients admitted for alarming neurological symptoms, but in whom neurological disorders could be excluded.

Methods: Study participants were patients seeking medical attention for neurological symptoms primarily considered to be caused by a neurological diagnosis and investigated according to clinical routine. Demographic, clinical, and CSF data were extracted retrospectively from medical records. Patients with a final neurological diagnosis were excluded.

Results: Out of 990 patients, 900 with a neurological diagnosis were excluded leaving 90 patients without a final neurological diagnosis. Sixty-eight (75.6%) were females. Median (range) age at lumbar puncture was 34.7 (16.9-65.1) years. Age-adjusted CSF-NF-L, CSF-t-tau, and CSF-GFAP concentrations were normal in 89 (98.9%), 86 (95.6%), and 87 (96.7%) patients, respectively.

Conclusion: In patients with significant neurological symptoms but in whom a neurological diagnosis could not be made, the CSF markers NF-L, t-tau, and GFAP did not indicate signs of neuronal or astroglial cell damage close to symptom onset. Consequently, increased levels of CSF markers are not expected in this patient group and, if present, should raise suspicion of underlying neurological disorders and motivate further investigations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ane.13118DOI Listing
September 2019

Cerebrospinal fluid neurofilament light and tau protein as mortality biomarkers in parkinsonism.

Acta Neurol Scand 2019 Aug 20;140(2):147-156. Epub 2019 May 20.

Department of Neurology, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology at Sahlgrenska Academy, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Background: Mortality is increased in parkinsonian disorders, moderately in Parkinson's disease (PD) but markedly in atypical parkinsonian disorders (APD), including multiple system atrophy (MSA), progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), and corticobasal degeneration (CBD). Still, there are no reliable quantitative biomarkers for mortality. The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) neurodegeneration biomarkers such as neurofilament light chain (NF-L), total tau (t-tau), and the tau pathology marker phosphorylated tau (p-tau) are related to mortality in other neurological disorders (eg, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease), but have not been investigated in this respect in parkinsonian disorders.

Aims: To investigate the CSF biomarkers' (NF-L, t-tau, and p-tau) relationship to mortality in parkinsonian disorders.

Methods: Demographic, mortality, and CSF data were collected from 68 PD and 83 APD patients. Survival analysis was conducted using Cox regression, with age at lumbar puncture, gender, diagnosis, and levels of CSF biomarkers as predictors.

Results: NF-L in CSF was associated with increased mortality in synucleinopathies (PD, MSA; HR 3.698 [2.196-6.228, 95% confidence interval (CI)], P < 0.001), in PSP (HR 2.767 [1.126-6.802 95% CI], P = 0.027), and in the entire cohort (HR 1.661 [1.082-2.55, 95% CI], P = 0.02). t-Tau in CSF was associated with increased mortality in PSP (HR 9.587 [1.143-80.418], P = 0.037). p-Tau in CSF was associated with decreased mortality in synucleinopathies (HR 0.196 [0.041-0.929, 95% CI], P = 0.040). Atypical parkinsonian disorders and tauopathies were associated with higher mortality (HR 8.798 [4.516-17.14, 95% CI] and HR 3.040 [1.904-4.854], respectively, P < 0.001).

Conclusion: NF-L and tau protein in CSF might be useful for mortality prognosis in patients with parkinsonian disorders and should be investigated in larger studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ane.13116DOI Listing
August 2019

Leukoencephalopathia, demyelinating peripheral neuropathy and dural ectasia explained by a not formerly described de novo mutation in the SAMD9L gene, ends 27 years of investigations - a case report.

BMC Neurol 2019 May 3;19(1):89. Epub 2019 May 3.

Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, The Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Background: Missense mutations in SAMD9L gene is associated with ataxia-pancytopenia syndrome (ATXPC), OMIM#159550. Common clinical features in these patients include neurological and hematological symptoms. The phenotype and age of onset is variable.

Case Presentation: In this case report whole exome sequencing (WES) revealed a not previously reported de novo variant c.2686 T > G, p.(Phe896Val) in SAMD9L in a patient with widespread findings of slow developing pathology in the peripheral and central nervous system. The clinical picture was dominated by neurological symptoms, unlike previously described cases, and in addition dural ectasias and multiple cysts in the brain was observed using magnetic resonance imaging.

Conclusions: This case underscores the effect of variable expressivity, i.e. different mutations in the same gene can cause different phenotypes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12883-019-1319-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6499956PMC
May 2019

A SCA7 premutation may be a novel Mendelian modifier of MS course: A case report.

Mult Scler Relat Disord 2019 Jun 13;31:148-150. Epub 2019 Apr 13.

Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, The Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden. Electronic address:

A proportion of patients with the phenotype of complex genetic disorders carry dominantly inherited Mendelian traits, exemplified by hereditary spastic paraparesis influencing pyramidal symptoms in some MS cases. We here describe a mutable ATXN7 gene, a SCA7 premutation, in a patient fulfilling contemporary definitions of primary progressive MS. His onset age, and onset with a severely progressive cerebellar ataxia syndrome, was outside the reported range of symptoms in a representative MS material. We suggest that an ATXN7 premutation is a novel genetic modifier of the course of MS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2019.04.009DOI Listing
June 2019

Cerebrospinal fluid levels of glial marker YKL-40 strongly associated with axonal injury in HIV infection.

J Neuroinflammation 2019 Jan 24;16(1):16. Epub 2019 Jan 24.

Department of Infectious Diseases, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Background: HIV-1 infects the central nervous system (CNS) shortly after transmission. This leads to a chronic intrathecal immune activation. YKL-40, a biomarker that mainly reflects activation of astroglial cells, has not been thoroughly investigated in relation to HIV. The objective of our study was to characterize cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) YKL-40 in chronic HIV infection, with and without antiretroviral treatment (ART).

Methods: YKL-40, neopterin, and the axonal marker neurofilament light protein (NFL) were analyzed with ELISA in archived CSF samples from 120 HIV-infected individuals (85 untreated neuroasymptomatic patients, 7 with HIV-associated dementia, and 28 on effective ART) and 39 HIV-negative controls.

Results: CSF YKL-40 was significantly higher in patients with HIV-associated dementia compared to all other groups. It was also higher in untreated neuroasymptomatic individuals with CD4 cell count < 350 compared to controls. Significant correlations were found between CSF YKL-40 and age (r = 0.38, p < 0.001), CD4 (r = - 0.36, p < 0.001), plasma HIV RNA (r = 0.35, p < 0.001), CSF HIV RNA (r = 0.35, p < 0.001), CSF neopterin (r = 0.40, p < 0.001), albumin ratio (r = 0.44, p < 0.001), and CSF NFL (r = 0.71, p < 0.001). Age, CD4 cell count, albumin ratio, and CSF HIV RNA were found as independent predictors of CSF YKL-40 concentrations in multivariable analysis. In addition, CSF YKL-40 was revealed as a strong independent predictor of CSF NFL together with age, CSF neopterin, and CD4 cell count.

Conclusions: CSF YKL-40 is a promising biomarker candidate for understanding the pathogenesis of HIV in the CNS. The strong correlation between CSF YKL-40 and NFL suggests a pathogenic association between astroglial activation and axonal injury, and implies its utility in assessing the prognostic value of YKL-40.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12974-019-1404-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6345016PMC
January 2019

Cerebrospinal fluid NCAM levels are modulated by disease-modifying therapies.

Acta Neurol Scand 2019 May 5;139(5):422-427. Epub 2019 Mar 5.

Department of Neuroscience and Trauma, Blizard Institute, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK.

Background: Little is known about what leads to recovery between relapses in multiple sclerosis (MS), particularly following treatment. In the past, it has been demonstrated that soluble neural cell adhesion molecule (sNCAM), a putative biomarker of neuroplasticity, increased following steroid treatment in the Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of MS subjects undergoing acute relapses. Taking this a step further, we have evaluated the effect of disease-modifying treatment (DMTs) on CSF sNCAM levels in various subtypes of MS.

Methods: We measured CSF sNCAM levels at baseline and after 12-24 months of DMT in 69 patients, 49 relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), 20 progressive MS(PMS), and 24 healthy controls (HC) using an in-house ELISA. Of this, 31 patients had received natalizumab, 17 mitoxantrone, and 21 fingolimod. Changes in disability were measured using EDSS and disease severity by MSSS. In conjunction, CSF NfL levels were also measured.

Results: At baseline, the mean sNCAM level was 268.7 ng/mL (SD: 109 ng/mL) in MS patients compared with 340.6 ng/ml (SD: 139 ng/mL) in HC, and PMS had significantly lower sNCAM (239.2 ng/mL, SD: 123.0, P = 0.019) compared to RRMS (269.4, SD: 127.4, P = 0.043). After natalizumab and mitoxantrone treatments, we observed an increase in mean sNCAM. However, in the fingolimod-treated group, mean sNCAM decreased. There was no correlation found with EDSS or MSSS, or NfL levels as a whole.

Conclusions: Cerebrospinal fluid sNCAM levels were found to be lower in MS than in HC and the lowest sNCAM levels were found in PMS. Following natalizumab and mitoxantrone treatments, we observed an elevation in sNCAM levels, an effect that was not observed following fingolimod treatment. These changes, however, did not appear to correlate with disability in the short-term or NfL levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ane.13069DOI Listing
May 2019

Sulfatide isoform pattern in cerebrospinal fluid discriminates progressive MS from relapsing-remitting MS.

J Neurochem 2018 08 3;146(3):322-332. Epub 2018 Jul 3.

Department of Clinical Chemistry and Transfusion Medicine, Institute of Biomedicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS). Several biomarkers including proteins and lipids have been reported in MS cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), reflecting different aspects of the pathophysiology particularly of relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS). Sulfatide, abundant in the myelin sheath and a proposed target for autoimmune attack in MS, has been reported altered in MS CSF. Here, we investigated the potential of CSF sulfatide and its isoforms as biomarkers in MS. A highly sensitive and quantitative mass spectrometry method was employed to determine levels of sulfatide isoforms in CSF from RRMS and progressive MS (PMS) patients, and healthy donors (HD). We demonstrate that levels of total CSF sulfatide and C24:1, C26:1, and C26:1-OH isoforms were significantly increased in PMS compared with RRMS patients and HD, while C23:0-OH was significantly decreased in CSF from PMS patients compared to the other two groups. Multivariate discriminant analysis showed that CSF sulfatide isoform pattern in PMS patients was distinct and non-overlapping with that of RRMS patients and HD. Sulfatide levels did not correlate with tested biomarkers or clinical parameters. The results suggest that CSF sulfatide isoform levels may be used to discriminate the phenotype of MS and might play a role in the progression of the disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jnc.14452DOI Listing
August 2018

Searching for neurodegeneration in multiple sclerosis at clinical onset: Diagnostic value of biomarkers.

PLoS One 2018 3;13(4):e0194828. Epub 2018 Apr 3.

Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Background: Neurodegeneration occurs during the early stages of multiple sclerosis. It is an essential, devastating part of the pathophysiology. Tools for measuring the degree of neurodegeneration could improve diagnostics and patient characterization.

Objective: This study aimed to determine the diagnostic value of biomarkers of degeneration in patients with recent clinical onset of suspected multiple sclerosis, and to evaluate these biomarkers for characterizing disease course.

Methods: This cross-sectional study included 271 patients with clinical features of suspected multiple sclerosis onset and was the baseline of a prospective study. After diagnostic investigations, the patients were classified into the following disease groups: patients with clinically isolated syndrome (n = 4) or early relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (early RRMS; n = 93); patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis with disease durations ≥2 years (established RRMS; n = 39); patients without multiple sclerosis, but showing symptoms (symptomatic controls; n = 89); and patients diagnosed with other diseases (n = 46). In addition, we included healthy controls (n = 51) and patients with progressive multiple sclerosis (n = 23). We analyzed six biomarkers of neurodegeneration: cerebrospinal fluid neurofilament light chain levels; cerebral spinal fluid glial fibrillary acidic protein; cerebral spinal fluid tau; retinal nerve fiber layer thickness; macula volume; and the brain parenchymal fraction.

Results: Except for increased cerebral spinal fluid neurofilament light chain levels, median 670 ng/L (IQR 400-2110), we could not find signs of early degeneration in the early disease group with recent clinical onset. However, the intrathecal immunoglobin G production and cerebral spinal fluid neurofilament light chain levels showed diagnostic value. Moreover, elevated levels of cerebral spinal fluid glial fibrillary acidic protein, thin retinal nerve fiber layers, and low brain parenchymal fractions were associated with progressive disease, but not with the other phenotypes. Thin retinal nerve fiber layers and low brain parenchymal fractions, which indicated neurodegeneration, were associated with longer disease duration.

Conclusions: In clinically suspected multiple sclerosis, intrathecal immunoglobin G production and neurofilament light chain levels had diagnostic value. Therefore, these biomarkers could be included in diagnostic work-ups for multiple sclerosis. We found that the thickness of the retinal nerve fiber layer and the brain parenchymal fraction were not different between individuals that were healthy, symptomatic, or newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. This finding suggested that neurodegeneration had not reached a significant magnitude in patients with a recent clinical onset of multiple sclerosis.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0194828PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5882126PMC
July 2018

Monitoring disease activity in multiple sclerosis using serum neurofilament light protein.

Neurology 2017 Nov 27;89(22):2230-2237. Epub 2017 Oct 27.

From the Department of Clinical Neuroscience (L.N., M.A., C.M., J.L.) and Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry (H.Z., K.B.), Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg; Clinical Neurochemistry Laboratory (H.Z., K.B.), Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Mölndal, Sweden; Department of Molecular Neuroscience (H.Z.), UCL Institute of Neurology, London, UK; Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience (P.S.), Umeå University; University Department of Clinical Neuroscience (M.K., T.O., F.P.), Neuroimmunology Unit, and Department of Clinical Sciences (A.S.), Danderyd Hospital, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm; and Department of Neurology (M.G.), Faculty of Medicine and Health, Örebro University, Sweden.

Objective: To examine the effects of disease activity, disability, and disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) on serum neurofilament light (NFL) and the correlation between NFL concentrations in serum and CSF in multiple sclerosis (MS).

Methods: NFL concentrations were measured in paired serum and CSF samples (n = 521) from 373 participants: 286 had MS, 45 had other neurologic conditions, and 42 were healthy controls (HCs). In 138 patients with MS, the serum and CSF samples were obtained before and after DMT treatment with a median interval of 12 months. The CSF NFL concentration was measured with the UmanDiagnostics NF-light enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The serum NFL concentration was measured with an in-house ultrasensitive single-molecule array assay.

Results: In MS, the correlation between serum and CSF NFL was = 0.62 ( < 0.001). Serum concentrations were significantly higher in patients with relapsing-remitting MS (16.9 ng/L) and in patients with progressive MS (23 ng/L) than in HCs (10.5 ng/L, < 0.001 and < 0.001, respectively). Treatment with DMT reduced median serum NFL levels from 18.6 (interquartile range [IQR] 12.6-32.7) ng/L to 15.7 (IQR 9.6-22.7) ng/L ( < 0.001). Patients with relapse or with radiologic activity had significantly higher serum NFL levels than those in remission ( < 0.001) or those without new lesions on MRI ( < 0.001).

Conclusions: Serum and CSF NFL levels were highly correlated, indicating that blood sampling can replace CSF taps for this particular marker. Disease activity and DMT had similar effects on serum and CSF NFL concentrations. Repeated NFL determinations in peripheral blood for detecting axonal damage may represent new possibilities in MS monitoring.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000004683DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5705244PMC
November 2017

Cerebrospinal fluid markers of neuronal and glial cell damage in patients with autoimmune neurologic syndromes with and without underlying malignancies.

J Neuroimmunol 2017 05 1;306:25-30. Epub 2017 Mar 1.

Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Mölndal, Sweden; Clinical Neurochemistry Laboratory, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Mölndal, Sweden.

Autoimmune neurologic syndromes can be paraneoplastic (associated with malignancies and/or onconeural antibodies), or non-paraneoplastic. Their clinical presentation is often similar. As prognosis is related to malignancy treatment, better biomarkers are needed to identify patients with malignancy. We investigated cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) markers of neuronal (neurofilament light chain, NFL and total tau protein, T-tau) and glial (glial fibrillary acidic protein) damage. CSF-NFL and T-tau were increased in both paraneoplastic and non-paraneoplastic autoimmune syndromes. Patients with manifest malignancies were older, had less epilepsy, more focal central and peripheral neurological signs and symptoms, and worse long-term outcome, than those without malignancy. CSF-NFL-levels predicted long-term outcome but were not diagnostic for malignancy, after age adjustment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jneuroim.2017.02.018DOI Listing
May 2017

High Interferon-γ Uniquely in Vδ1 T Cells Correlates with Markers of Inflammation and Axonal Damage in Early Multiple Sclerosis.

Front Immunol 2017 9;8:260. Epub 2017 Mar 9.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Institute of Biomedicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg , Gothenburg , Sweden.

We have identified a population of T lymphocytes in peripheral blood, Vδ1 TCRγδ T lymphocytes, which unexpectedly was uniquely expressing high production of interferon-γ in newly diagnosed, untreated multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. IFN-γ production in this population distinctly correlated to parameters of clinical disease activity, inflammation, and neuronal damage. These Vδ1 T lymphocytes belong to a population of innate T lymphocytes that recognize antigen in the context of CD1d/CD1c and which include reactivity to the myelin glycosphingolipid sulfatide. Importantly, patients treated with natalizumab, blocking leukocyte transmigration to central nervous system, had completely normalized levels of interferon-γ-producing Vδ1 T lymphocytes. A biomarker and early sign of demyelinating disease in MS is much warranted and would help identify immunopathogenesis and prognosis of disease as well as monitor success with adequate treatment. The present study identifies the Vδ1 T lymphocytes as an early marker of MS and a possible link to understanding the disease etiology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2017.00260DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5343019PMC
March 2017

Cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers as a measure of disease activity and treatment efficacy in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.

J Neurochem 2017 04 29;141(2):296-304. Epub 2016 Nov 29.

Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers can reflect different aspects of the pathophysiology of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). Understanding the impact of different disease modifying therapies on the CSF biomarker profile may increase their implementation in clinical practice and their appropriateness for monitoring treatment efficacy. This study investigated the influence of first-line (interferon beta) and second-line (natalizumab) therapies on seven CSF biomarkers in RRMS and their correlation with clinical and radiological outcomes. We included 59 RRMS patients and 39 healthy controls. The concentrations of C-X-C motif chemokine 13 (CXCL13), C-C motif chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2), chitinase-3-like protein 1 (CHI3L1), glial fibrillary acidic protein, neurofilament light protein (NFL), and neurogranin were determined by ELISA, and chitotriosidase (CHIT1) was analyzed by spectrofluorometry. RRMS patients had higher levels of NFL, CXCL13, CHI3L1, and CHIT1 than controls (p < 0.001). Subgroup analysis revealed higher NFL, CXCL13 and CHIT1 levels in patients treated with first-line therapy compared to second-line therapy (p = 0.008, p = 0.001 and p = 0.026, respectively). NFL and CHIT1 levels correlated with relapse status, and NFL and CXCL13 levels correlated with the formation of new magnetic resonance imaging lesions. Furthermore, we found an association between inflammatory and degenerative biomarkers. The results indicate that CSF levels of NFL, CXCL13, CHI3L1, and CHIT1 correlate with the clinical and/or radiological disease activity, providing additional dimensions in the assessment of treatment efficacy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jnc.13881DOI Listing
April 2017

Rituximab in multiple sclerosis: A retrospective observational study on safety and efficacy.

Neurology 2016 Nov 19;87(20):2074-2081. Epub 2016 Oct 19.

From the Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Neuroscience (J.S., R.S., P.I.-J., M.V., P.S., A.S.), Umeå University; Departments of Clinical Neuroscience (R.S., P.A., A.B., K.F., F.P.) and Clinical Sciences, Danderyd Hospital (A.S.), Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm; and Department of Clinical Neuroscience (L.N., C.M., M.A., J.L.), Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Objective: To investigate the safety and efficacy of rituximab in multiple sclerosis (MS).

Methods: In this retrospective uncontrolled observational multicenter study, off-label rituximab-treated patients with MS were identified through the Swedish MS register. Outcome data were collected from the MS register and medical charts. Adverse events (AEs) grades 2-5 according to the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events were recorded.

Results: A total of 822 rituximab-treated patients with MS were identified: 557 relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), 198 secondary progressive MS (SPMS), and 67 primary progressive MS (PPMS). At baseline, 26.2% had contrast-enhancing lesions (CELs). Patients were treated with 500 or 1,000 mg rituximab IV every 6-12 months, during a mean 21.8 (SD 14.3) months. During treatment, the annualized relapse rates were 0.044 (RRMS), 0.038 (SPMS), and 0.015 (PPMS), and 4.6% of patients displayed CELs. Median Expanded Disability Status Scale remained unchanged in RRMS (p = 0.42) and increased by 0.5 and 1.0 in SPMS and PPMS, respectively (p = 0.10 and 0.25). Infusion-related AEs occurred during 7.8% of infusions and most were mild. A total of 89 AEs grades ≥2 (of which 76 infections) were recorded in 72 patients. No case of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy was detected.

Conclusions: This is the largest cohort of patients with MS treated with rituximab reported so far. The safety, clinical, and MRI findings in this heterogeneous real-world cohort treated with different doses of rituximab were similar to those reported in previous randomized controlled trials on B-cell depletion therapy in MS.

Classification Of Evidence: This study provides Class IV evidence that for patients with MS, rituximab is safe and effective.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000003331DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5109942PMC
November 2016

Rituximab versus fingolimod after natalizumab in multiple sclerosis patients.

Ann Neurol 2016 Jun 20;79(6):950-8. Epub 2016 Apr 20.

Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.

Objective: Many JC virus antibody-positive relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) patients who are stable on natalizumab switch to other therapies to avoid progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy.

Methods: We compared outcomes for all RRMS patients switching from natalizumab due to JC virus antibody positivity at 3 Swedish multiple sclerosis centers with different preferential use of rituximab and fingolimod (Stockholm, n = 156, fingolimod 51%; Gothenburg, n = 64, fingolimod 88%; Umeå, n = 36, fingolimod 19%), yielding a total cohort of N = 256 (fingolimod 55%).

Results: Within 1.5 years of cessation of natalizumab, 1.8% (rituximab) and 17.6% (fingolimod) of patients experienced a clinical relapse (hazard ratio for rituximab = 0.10, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.02-0.43). The hazard ratio (favoring rituximab) for adverse events (5.3% vs 21.1%) and treatment discontinuation (1.8% vs 28.2%) were 0.25 (95% CI = 0.10-0.59) and 0.07 (95% CI = 0.02-0.30), respectively. Furthermore, contrast-enhancing lesions were found in 1.4% (rituximab) versus 24.2% (fingolimod) of magnetic resonance imaging examinations (odds ratio = 0.05, 95% CI = 0.00-0.22). Differences remained when adjusting for possible confounders (age, sex, disability status, time on natalizumab, washout time, follow-up time, and study center).

Interpretation: Our findings suggest an improved effectiveness and tolerability of rituximab compared with fingolimod in stable RRMS patients who switch from natalizumab due to JC virus antibody positivity. Although residual confounding factors cannot be ruled out, the shared reason for switching from natalizumab and the preferential use of either rituximab or fingolimod in 2 of the centers mitigates these concerns. Ann Neurol 2016;79:950-958.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ana.24651DOI Listing
June 2016

Cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers of inflammation and degeneration as measures of fingolimod efficacy in multiple sclerosis.

Mult Scler 2017 01 11;23(1):62-71. Epub 2016 Jul 11.

Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Background: The disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) vary in their mode of action and when therapies are changed, the consequences on inflammatory and degenerative processes are largely unknown.

Objective: We investigated the effect of switching from other DMTs to fingolimod on cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers.

Methods: 43 RRMS patients were followed up after 4-12 months of fingolimod treatment. Concentrations of C-X-C motif chemokine 13 (CXCL13), chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2), chitinase-3-like protein 1 (CHI3L1), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), neurofilament light protein (NFL), and neurogranin (NGRN) were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), while chitotriosidase (CHIT1) was analyzed by spectrofluorometry.

Results: The levels of NFL, CXCL13, and CHI3L1 decreased ( p < 0.05) after fingolimod treatment. Subgroup analysis revealed a reduction in NFL ( p < 0.001), CXCL13 ( p = 0.001), CHI3L1 ( p < 0.001), and CHIT1 ( p = 0.002) in patients previously treated with first-line therapies. In contrast, the levels of all analyzed biomarkers were essentially unchanged in patients switching from natalizumab.

Conclusion: We found reduced inflammatory activity (CXCL13, CHI3L1, and CHIT1) and reduced axonal damage (NFL) in patients switching from first-line DMTs to fingolimod. Biomarker levels in patients switching from natalizumab indicate similar effects on inflammatory and degenerative processes. The CSF biomarkers provide an additional measure of treatment efficacy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1352458516639384DOI Listing
January 2017

YKL-40 is a CSF biomarker of intrathecal inflammation in secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.

J Neuroimmunol 2016 Mar 22;292:52-7. Epub 2016 Jan 22.

Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Physiology, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden. Electronic address:

YKL-40 (CHI3L1) is a glycoprotein predominantly produced by reactive astrocytes in chronic active MS lesions, which are common in secondary progressive MS. In this study, YKL-40 was investigated in different stages of MS and in relation to MRI findings. YKL-40 levels in CSF samples from two independent patient cohorts of MS patients were determined with ELISA. CSF YKL-40 was increased in patients with active relapsing-remitting MS and correlated with the number of gadolinium enhancing lesions. Patients with secondary progressive MS had similar high levels of YKL-40, whereas not active relapsing-remitting MS patients had YKL-40 levels comparable to healthy controls.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jneuroim.2016.01.013DOI Listing
March 2016

Soluble TREM-2 in cerebrospinal fluid from patients with multiple sclerosis treated with natalizumab or mitoxantrone.

Mult Scler 2016 10 11;22(12):1587-1595. Epub 2016 Jan 11.

Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden/UCL Institute of Neurology, University College London (UCL), London, UK.

Background: Microglia-mediated proteolysis of the triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells-2 (TREM-2) produces soluble TREM-2 (sTREM-2) that can be measured in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples. Loss-of-function mutations in TREM2 or in the gene encoding its adaptor protein cause the rare Nasu-Hakola disease (NHD). Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that in common with NHD is characterized by demyelination and microglial activation.

Objective: To investigate the potential utility of sTREM-2 as a biomarker for MS and to follow treatment effects.

Methods: sTREM-2 was analyzed in CSF samples from subjects with MS (N = 59); relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) (N = 36), secondary progressive MS (SPMS) (N = 20) and primary progressive MS (PPMS) (N = 3), and controls (N = 27). CSF levels of sTREM-2 were also assessed before and after treatment of patients with natalizumab or mitoxantrone.

Results: CSF levels of sTREM-2 were significantly increased in patients with RRMS, SPMS, and PPMS compared with controls. After natalizumab treatment, the levels of sTREM-2 were normalized to control levels. The levels of sTREM-2 were also reduced after mitoxantrone treatment.

Conclusion: Increased CSF levels of sTREM-2, a new marker of microglial activation, in MS and normalization upon treatment with either natalizumab or mitoxantrone support a role for microglial activation in active MS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1352458515624558DOI Listing
October 2016

Reduced cerebrospinal fluid concentrations of oxysterols in response to natalizumab treatment of relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis.

J Neurol Sci 2015 Nov 29;358(1-2):201-6. Epub 2015 Aug 29.

Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, The Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Background: Natalizumab therapy reduces inflammation and degeneration of the CNS in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). In cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) the concentration of 24S-hydroxycholesterol (24OHC) reflect neurodegeneration, whereas 27-hydroxycholesterol (27OHC) is dependent on the integrity of the blood-brain barrier (BBB).

Objective: To measure the impact from natalizumab treatment on 24OHC and 27OHC concentrations in serum and CSF of RRMS.

Methods: In serum and CSF obtained from 31 patients before and following 12 months of natalizumab treatment, 24OHC and 27OHC were analyzed by isotope-dilution mass spectrometry.

Results: Natalizumab treatment reduced CSF-24OHC concentrations (p=0.002), CSF-27OHC concentrations (p=0.01) and serum-24OHC concentrations (p=0.029). There was no significant effect of the treatment on serum-27OHC concentrations. Serum concentrations of 24OHC correlated with Symbol Digit Modalities Test scores before (r=0.5, p=0.007) and after natalizumab treatment (r=0.403, p=0.033).

Conclusions: We showed for the first time that natalizumab treatment of RRMS reduced the concentrations of 24- and 27OHC in CSF, indicating reduced neurodegeneration and improved integrity of the BBB, respectively. Our results imply a role for serum 24OHC as a biomarker of cognition (visuo-spatial ability and processing speed) in RRMS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2015.08.1537DOI Listing
November 2015

CSF levels of YKL-40 are increased in MS and replaces with immunosuppressive treatment.

J Neuroimmunol 2014 Apr 13;269(1-2):87-9. Epub 2014 Feb 13.

Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry, The Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Mölndal, Sweden. Electronic address:

The role of glial cells during different phases of multiple sclerosis (MS) is unclear. To monitor glial activation we analyzed the biomarkers YKL-40 and sCD14 in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from MS patients during different disease phases and in response to immunosuppressive treatment. CSF levels of YKL-40 were increased in MS during relapse, remission and secondary progression compared with healthy controls. Furthermore, YKL-40 levels in CSF decreased by mitoxantrone and natalizumab treatment. No differences were observed in CSF levels of sCD14. Thus, we can infer that glial activation is present in all MS phases and decreases by immunosuppressive treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jneuroim.2014.02.004DOI Listing
April 2014

The influence of disease duration, clinical course, and immunosuppressive therapy on the synthesis of intrathecal oligoclonal IgG bands in multiple sclerosis.

J Neuroimmunol 2013 Nov 18;264(1-2):100-5. Epub 2013 Sep 18.

Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, The Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden. Electronic address:

We investigated the impact of disease duration, clinical course and immunosuppressive therapy on intrathecal IgG synthesis in multiple sclerosis (MS). Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was obtained twice, 8-10 years apart, from 20 MS patients and 26 healthy controls, and from 22 MS patients before and after two years of mitoxantrone treatment. The oligoclonal IgG band patterns changed in 15 patients at long-term follow-up, but were only influenced in 4 patients by mitoxantrone therapy. The CSF B-cell-regulating chemokine CXCL13 correlated with intrathecal IgG production suggesting a B-cell-dependence of intrathecal IgG synthesis in MS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jneuroim.2013.09.003DOI Listing
November 2013

MicroRNA regulate immune pathways in T-cells in multiple sclerosis (MS).

BMC Immunol 2013 Jul 29;14:32. Epub 2013 Jul 29.

Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, The Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Background: MicroRNA are small noncoding RNA molecules that are involved in the control of gene expression. To investigate the role of microRNA in multiple sclerosis (MS), we performed genome-wide expression analyses of mRNA and microRNA in T-cells from MS patients and controls.

Methods: Heparin-anticoagulated peripheral blood was collected from MS-patients and healthy controls followed by isolation of T-cells. MicroRNA and RNA from T-cells was prepared and hybridized to Affymetrix miR 2.0 array and Affymetrix U133Plus 2.0 Human Genome array (Santa Clara, CA), respectively. Verifications were performed with real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).

Results: We identified 2,452 differentially expressed genes and 21 differentially expressed microRNA between MS patients and controls. By Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, 20 of 21 differentially expressed microRNA were shown to affect the expression of their target genes, many of which were involved in the immune system. Tumor necrosis factor ligand superfamily member 14 (TNFSF14) was a microRNA target gene significantly decreased in MS. The differential expression of mir-494, mir-197 and the predicted microRNA target gene TNFSF14 was verified by real-time PCR and ELISA.

Conclusion: These findings indicate that microRNA may be important regulatory molecules in T-cells in MS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2172-14-32DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3734042PMC
July 2013