Publications by authors named "Uwe K Zettl"

146 Publications

Glatiramer Acetate Treatment in Multiple Sclerosis-Associated Fatigue-Beneficial Effects on Self-Assessment Scales But Not on Molecular Markers.

Biomolecules 2021 Mar 7;11(3). Epub 2021 Mar 7.

Department of Neurology, Universitätsmedizin Rostock, 18057 Rostock, Germany.

Although fatigue is a common symptom in multiple sclerosis (MS), its pathomechanisms are incompletely understood. Glatiramer acetate (GA), an immunomodulatory agent approved for treatment of relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), possesses unique mechanisms of action and has been shown to exhibit beneficial effects on MS fatigue. The objective of this study was to correlate clinical, neuropsychological, and immunological parameters in RRMS patients with fatigue before and during treatment with GA. In a prospective, open-label, multicenter trial, 30 patients with RRMS and fatigue were treated with GA for 12 months. Inclusion criterion was the presence of fatigue as one of the most frequent and disabling symptoms. Before and during treatment, fatigue was assessed using the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS), the MS-FSS, and the Modified Fatigue Impact Scale (MFIS). In addition, fatigue and quality of life were assessed using the Visual Analog Scales (VAS). Laboratory assessments included screening of 188 parameters using real-time PCR microarrays followed by further analysis of several cytokines, chemokines, and neurotrophic factors. Fatigue self-assessments were completed in 25 patients. After 12 months of treatment with GA, 13 of these patients improved in all three scales (with the most prominent effects on the MFIS), whereas 5 patients had deteriorated. The remaining 7 patients exhibited inconsistent effects within the three scales. Fatigue and overall quality of life had improved, as assessed via VAS. Laboratory assessments revealed heterogeneous mRNA levels of cytokines, chemokines, and neurotrophic factors. In conclusion, we were not able to correlate clinical and molecular effects of GA in patients with RRMS and fatigue.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biom11030393DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8002075PMC
March 2021

Development of a Sensitive Bioassay for the Analysis of IGF-Related Activation of AKT/mTOR Signaling in Biological Matrices.

Cells 2021 Feb 24;10(3). Epub 2021 Feb 24.

Institute of Genome Biology, Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN), Wilhelm-Stahl Allee 2, 18196 Dummerstorf, Germany.

The bioactivity of the IGF system is not a function of isolated hormone concentrations in a given biological matrix. Instead, the biological activities of IGFs are regulated by IGFBPs, IGFBP proteases, and inhibitors of IGFBP proteases. Therefore, assays based on IGF-related bioactivity may describe functions of the complete IGF system in a given biological matrix. Of particular interest are the IGF system effects on the AKT/mTOR pathway, as a dominant system for controlling growth, metabolism, and aging. In order to improve the sensitivity of IGF-dependent bioactivity, we made use of the known short-term and enhancing effects of IGFBP2 on the intracellular PI3K pathway. As a specific readout of this pathway, and further as a marker of the mTOR pathway, we assessed the phosphorylation of AKT-Ser473. Preincubation using IGFBP2 enhanced IGF1-dependent AKT-Ser473 phosphorylation in our experimental system. The assay's specificity was demonstrated by inhibition of IGF1 receptors outside or inside the cell, using antiserum or small molecule inhibitors, which reduced AKT phosphorylation in response to exogenous IGF1 ( < 0.05). The maximal response of AKT phosphorylation was recorded 15 to 60 min after the addition of IGF1 to cell monolayers ( < 0.001). In our cellular system, insulin induced AKT phosphorylation only at supra-physiological concentrations (µM). Using this novel assay, we identified the differential biological activity of the IGF system in AKT-Ser473 phosphorylation in serum (mouse, naked mole rat, and human), in cerebrospinal fluid (human), and in colostrum or mature milk samples (dairy cow). We have developed a sensitive and robust bioassay to assess the IGF-related activation of the AKT/mTOR pathway. The assay works efficiently and does not require expensive cell culture systems. By using capillary immuno-electrophoresis, the readout of IGF-related bioactivity is substantially accelerated, requiring a minimum of hands-on time. Importantly, the assay system is useful for studying IGF-related activity in the AKT/mTOR pathway in a broad range of biological matrices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cells10030482DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7995968PMC
February 2021

Sunlight exposure exerts immunomodulatory effects to reduce multiple sclerosis severity.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2021 01;118(1)

Department of Neurology, Neuroimmunological Section, University of Rostock, 18051 Rostock, Germany.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) disease risk is associated with reduced sun-exposure. This study assessed the relationship between measures of sun exposure (vitamin D [vitD], latitude) and MS severity in the setting of two multicenter cohort studies ( = 946, = 990). Additionally, effect-modification by medication and photosensitivity-associated variants was assessed. High serum vitD was associated with a reduced MS severity score (MSSS), reduced risk for relapses, and lower disability accumulation over time. Low latitude was associated with higher vitD, lower MSSS, fewer gadolinium-enhancing lesions, and lower disability accumulation. The association of latitude with disability was lacking in IFN-β-treated patients. In carriers of :rs1805008(T), who reported increased sensitivity toward sunlight, lower latitude was associated with higher MRI activity, whereas for noncarriers there was less MRI activity at lower latitudes. In a further exploratory approach, the effect of ultraviolet (UV)-phototherapy on the transcriptome of immune cells of MS patients was assessed using samples from an earlier study. Phototherapy induced a vitD and type I IFN signature that was most apparent in monocytes but that could also be detected in B and T cells. In summary, our study suggests beneficial effects of sun exposure on established MS, as demonstrated by a correlative network between the three factors: Latitude, vitD, and disease severity. However, sun exposure might be detrimental for photosensitive patients. Furthermore, a direct induction of type I IFNs through sun exposure could be another mechanism of UV-mediated immune-modulation in MS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2018457118DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7817192PMC
January 2021

Cerebrospinal Fluid Biomarkers in Relation to MRZ Reaction Status in Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis.

Cells 2020 11 25;9(12). Epub 2020 Nov 25.

Department of Neurology, University Hospital Ulm, 89081 Ulm, Germany.

The MRZ reaction (MRZR) comprises the three antibody indices (AIs) against measles, rubella, and varicella zoster virus, reflecting an intrathecal polyspecific B cell response highly specific for multiple sclerosis (MS). Thus, MRZR can be used to confirm a diagnosis of primary progressive MS (PPMS) but its pathophysiological and wider clinical relevance is unclear. This study aimed to investigate whether PPMS patients with a positive MRZR (MRZR+) differ from those with a negative MRZR (MRZR-) according to cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers of B cell activity, neuroaxonal damage or glial activity, and clinical features. (1) Methods: In a multicenter PPMS cohort ( = 81) with known MRZR status, we measured B cell-activating factor (BAFF), chemokine CXC ligand 13 (CXCL-13), soluble B cell maturation antigen (sBCMA), soluble transmembrane activator and CAML interactor (sTACI), and chitinase-3-like protein 1 (CHI3L1) in the CSF with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs). Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and neurofilament light chain (NfL) were detected in serum and CSF using single molecule array (SIMOA) technology. (2) Results: MRZR+ patients (45.7% of all PPMS patients) revealed higher levels of NfL in CSF compared to MRZR- patients (54.3%). There were positive correlations between each of sBCMA, sTACI, and intrathecal immunoglobin G (IgG) synthesis. Additionally, NfL concentrations in serum positively correlated with those in CSF and those of GFAP in serum. However, MRZR+ and MRZR- patients did not differ concerning clinical features (e.g., age, disease duration, Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) at diagnosis and follow-up); CSF routine parameters; CSF concentrations of BAFF, CXCL-13, sBCMA, sTACI, CHI3L1, and GFAP; or serum concentrations of GFAP and NfL. (3) Conclusions: In PPMS patients, MRZR positivity might indicate a more pronounced axonal damage. Higher levels of the soluble B cell receptors BCMA and transmembrane activator and CAML interactor (TACI) in CSF are associated with a stronger intrathecal IgG synthesis in PPMS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cells9122543DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7761295PMC
November 2020

[Multiple sclerosis in Germany: updated analysis of the German MS Registry 2014-2018].

Fortschr Neurol Psychiatr 2020 Jul 16;88(7):e1. Epub 2020 Oct 16.

Klinik und Poliklinik für Neurologie, Sektion Neuroimmunologie, Universitätsmedizin Rostock.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1248-5258DOI Listing
July 2020

Management of MS Patients Treated With Daclizumab - a Case Series of 267 Patients.

Front Neurol 2020 8;11:996. Epub 2020 Sep 8.

Neuroimmunological Section, Department of Neurology, University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany.

Daclizumab was approved by the FDA and the EMA in 2016 for the treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Cases of severe inflammatory brain disease with fatal outcome led to the withdrawal of approval in Europe and the US on March 2, 2018. Approximately 8,000 patients worldwide received daclizumab, but little is known about the further therapy management of these patients after the withdrawal of daclizumab. The aim of this study is to further analyze therapy management in MS patients after safety warnings and market withdrawal. Data from two registries in Germany, the German MS Registry (GMSR) and REGIMS, were used for this analysis. In total, 267 patients were included in this study. For almost 25% of patients (in the GMSR) daclizumab was the initial treatment. Most common pre-treatments were fingolimod, dimethyl fumarate, and natalizumab; various injectables summed up to 25.9%. The most common follow-up therapies were ocrelizumab and fingolimod. In most patients, follow-up therapies were administered shortly after discontinuation of daclizumab. The wash-out time for subsequent therapies varied between 1.2 and 4.0 months. Warnings and decisions by authorities led to a rapid decline and termination of therapies in both cohorts, indicating that such warnings have an immediate impact on the treatment landscape. Therapies that were started within a short time after the discontinuation of daclizumab were subsequently replaced by other therapies and may be considered as bridging therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2020.00996DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7506133PMC
September 2020

Is benign MS really benign? What a meaningful classification beyond the EDSS must take into consideration.

Mult Scler Relat Disord 2020 Nov 3;46:102485. Epub 2020 Sep 3.

Department of Neurology, Neuroimmunological Section, University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany; Department of Neurology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative disease with an unpredictable course that has a broad clinical spectrum and progresses over time. If a person with MS (PwMS) shows overall mild to moderate disability even after a long duration of disease, the term benign MS (BMS) is used. However, there is currently no generally accepted definition of BMS. Most definitions are based on EDSS in connection with disease duration, i.e. EDSS ≤3.0 after 15 years' disease duration. The question arises whether focusing on EDSS alone is adequate for classifying the disease course taking into account that 'hidden' or 'soft' symptoms are not sufficiently covered by this instrument. The aims of the study are to assess the prevalence of BMS in one of the largest patient cohorts, to describe the prevalence of patients without disabilities and to assess the further disability progression of these patients over another 15 years.

Methods: Based on data exported from the German MS Registry, PwMS with a disease duration of 15 years or more were included in the analyses. PwMS were divided into BMS (EDSS ≤3.0) or non-benign (NBMS, EDSS >3.0).

Results: Out of 31,824 PwMS included in the German MS Register, we identified 10,874 patients with a disease duration ≥15 years of whom 4,511 (42%) showed an EDSS ≤3.0 fulfilling the criterion of benign MS. In the subgroup with EDSS measured exactly at 15 years' disease duration, the proportion was 54%. This proportion decreased continuously with increasing disease duration and fell to 30% after 30 years. Female sex (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.84) was associated with BMS, while a progressive (HR: 2.09) and late disease onset (HR: 1.29) were associated with NBMS (p<0.001). With a more rigorous definition of BMS (EDSS ≤1.0, absence of disability, and active employment), only 580 (13%) of the initial BMS remained 'benign'.

Conclusion: Our data propose an alternative definition (EDSS ≤1.0, absence from any disability, and the ability to work after 15 years of disease duration) which might truly reflect BMS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2020.102485DOI Listing
November 2020

[Multiple sclerosis in Germany: updated analysis of the German MS Registry 2014-2018].

Fortschr Neurol Psychiatr 2020 Jul 27;88(7):436-450. Epub 2020 Jul 27.

Klinik und Poliklinik für Neurologie, Sektion Neuroimmunologie, Universitätsmedizin Rostock.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-0985-4124DOI Listing
July 2020

[Headache in multiple sclerosis].

Nervenarzt 2020 Oct;91(10):926-935

Klinik und Poliklinik für Neurologie, Sektion für Neuroimmunologie, Universitätsmedizin Rostock, Gehlsheimer Straße 20, 18147, Rostock, Deutschland.

The relationship between headache and multiple sclerosis (MS) has been a matter of controversy for over 60 years. Headaches are still rated as a "red flag", indicating alternative diagnoses to MS, although in the last few years numerous studies have shown a frequent association between headache and MS. In recent studies on MS patients, a link was found between lower age/shorter disease duration of MS and frequent headaches. A study of 50 patients manifesting MS for the first time showed the highest headache prevalence in MS of 78% reported so far.Headaches can also be a possible side effect of most disease-modifying MS drugs. In many cases, however, the headache appears to be a symptom of MS in terms of secondary headache. This is also supported by pathophysiological implications, for example, by detecting B cell follicles in the meninges of MS patients.Migraine is the most common type of headache in MS. In some cases, this is a comorbidity of two diseases with many similarities, but headaches caused by inflammatory MS lesions also appear to be phenomenologically very similar to classic migraines; thus, distinguishing between them is often only successful with the help of thorough differential diagnostics (cerebrospinal fluid, MRI etc.).The task of future studies must be to specify the phenomenology of headache in MS even more precisely, in order to, to gain knowledge in, among others, patients with radiologically isolated syndrome, who often suffer from headache, because in these patients a considerable differential diagnostic and therapeutic uncertainty exists.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00115-020-00959-0DOI Listing
October 2020

Genetic determinants of the humoral immune response in MS.

Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm 2020 09 16;7(5). Epub 2020 Jul 16.

From the Department of Neurology (C.G., T.F.M.A., A. Keating, B.K., A. Klein, V.P., A. Berthele, B.H.), Klinikum rechts der Isar, School of Medicine, Technical University of Munich; Institute of Human Genetics (P.L.), Helmholtz Zentrum München, Neuherberg; Department of Neurology (R.G.), St. Josef Hospital, Ruhr-University Bochum; Department of Neurology, Focus Program Translational Neurosciences (FTN) and Research Center for Immunotherapy (FZI), Rhine-Main Neuroscience Network (rmn2) (F.Z.), University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz; Department of Neurology and Translational Center for Regenerative Medicine (F.T.B.), University of Leipzig; Clinical Neuroimmunology and Neurochemistry (M.S.), Department of Neurology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover; Department of Neurology (H.T.), University of Ulm; Clinic of Neurology Dietenbronn (H.T.), Schwendi; Department of Neurology (B.W.), University Hospital Heidelberg; Department of Neurology (H.W.), University of Münster; Department of Neurology (A. Bayas), University Hospital Augsburg; Institute of Clinical Neuroimmunology (T.K.), University Hospital and Biomedical Center, Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich; Department of Neurology (U.K.Z.), Neuroimmunological Section, University of Rostock; Department of Neurology (R.A.L.), University Hospital Erlangen; Department of Neurology (R.A.L.), University of Regensburg; Department of Neurology & Stroke and Hertie-Institute for Clinical Brain Research (U.Z.), Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen; Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry (M.K.), Munich; Department of Neurology (C.W.), Medical Faculty, Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf; Department of Neurology (C.W.), University Hospital Cologne; Institute of Neuroimmunology and Multiple Sclerosis (M.A.F), University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg; NeuroCure Clinical Research Center (F.P.), Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Corporate Member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; Berlin Institute of Health and Experimental and Clinical Research Center (F.P.), Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine and Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin; and Center of Neuroimmunology (B.T.), Philipps-University Marburg; and Munich Cluster for Systems Neurology (SyNergy) (B.H.), Germany.

Objective: In this observational study, we investigated the impact of genetic factors at the immunoglobulin heavy chain constant locus on chromosome 14 and the major histocompatibility complex region on intrathecal immunoglobulin G, A, and M levels as well as on B cells and plasmablasts in the CSF and blood of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Methods: Using regression analyses, we tested genetic variants on chromosome 14 and imputed human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles for associations with intrathecal immunoglobulins in 1,279 patients with MS or clinically isolated syndrome and with blood and CSF B cells and plasmablasts in 301 and 348 patients, respectively.

Results: The minor alleles of variants on chromosome 14 were associated with higher intrathecal immunoglobulin G levels (β = 0.58 [0.47 to 0.68], lowest adjusted = 2.32 × 10), and lower intrathecal immunoglobulin M (β = -0.56 [-0.67 to -0.46], = 2.06 × 10) and A (β = -0.42 [-0.54 to -0.31], = 7.48 × 10) levels. Alleles from the HLA-B*07:02-DRB1*15:01-DQA1*01:02-DQB1*06:02 haplotype were associated with higher (lowest = 2.14 × 10) and HLA-B*44:02 with lower (β = -0.35 [-0.54 to -0.17], = 1.38 × 10) immunoglobulin G levels. Of interest, different HLA alleles were associated with lower intrathecal immunoglobulin M (HLA-C*02:02, β = -0.45 [-0.61 to -0.28], = 1.01 × 10) and higher immunoglobulin A levels (HLA-DQA1*01:03-DQB1*06:03-DRB1*13:01 haplotype, β = 0.40 [0.21 to 0.60], = 4.46 × 10). The impact of HLA alleles on intrathecal immunoglobulin G and M levels could mostly be explained by associations with CSF B cells and plasmablasts.

Conclusion: Although some HLA alleles seem to primarily drive the extent of humoral immune responses in the CNS by increasing CSF B cells and plasmablasts, genetic variants at the immunoglobulin heavy chain constant locus might regulate intrathecal immunoglobulins levels via different mechanisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/NXI.0000000000000827DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7371373PMC
September 2020

Merits and culprits of immunotherapies for neurological diseases in times of COVID-19.

EBioMedicine 2020 Jun 11;56:102822. Epub 2020 Jun 11.

Department of Neurology with Institute of Translational Neurology, University Hospital Münster, Münster, Germany. Electronic address:

Immunosuppression and immunomodulation are valuable therapeutic approaches for managing neuroimmunological diseases. In times of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, clinicians must deal with the question of whether immunotherapy should currently be initiated or discontinued in neurological patients. Uncertainty exists especially because different national medical associations publish different recommendations on the extent to which immunotherapies must be continued, monitored, or possibly switched during the current pandemic. Based on the most recently available data both about the novel coronavirus and the approved immunotherapies for neurological diseases, we provide an updated overview that includes current treatment strategies and the associated COVID-19 risk, but also the potential of immunotherapies to treat COVID-19.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2020.102822DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7286830PMC
June 2020

Explorative study of emerging blood biomarkers in progressive multiple sclerosis (EmBioProMS): Design of a prospective observational multicentre pilot study.

Contemp Clin Trials Commun 2020 Jun 19;18:100574. Epub 2020 May 19.

Department of Neurology, University Hospital of Ulm, Ulm, Germany.

Background: Defining clinical and subclinical progression in multiple sclerosis (MS) is challenging. Patient history, expanded disability status scale (EDSS), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) all have shortcomings and may underestimate disease dynamics. Emerging serum biomarkers such as glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and neurofilament light chain (NfL) proved useful in many cross-sectional studies. However, longitudinal data on patients with progressive MS is scarce.

Objectives: To assess whether the serum biomarkers GFAP and NfL might differentiate between patients with progressive vs. non-progressive disease stages and predict the disease course according to the Lublin criteria.

Methods: EmBioProMS is a pilot, observational, prospective, multicentric study funded by the German Multiple Sclerosis Society (DMSG). 200 patients with MS according to the 2017 McDonald criteria and history of relapse-independent progression at any time (progressive MS, PMS), younger than 65 years, and with EDSS ≤ 6.5 will be recruited in 6 centres in Germany. At baseline, month 6, and 18, medical history, EDSS, Nine-Hole-Peg-Test (9-HPT), Timed-25-Foot-Walk-Test (T-25FW), Symbol-Digit-Modalities-Test (SDMT), serum GFAP, and NfL, MRI (at least baseline and month 18) and optional optical coherence tomography (OCT) will be performed. Disease progression before and during the study is defined by confirmed EDSS progression, increase by ≥ 20% in 9-HPT or T-25FW time.

Conclusions: This longitudinal multicentre study will reveal to what extent the prediction of disease progression in patients with PMS will be improved by the analysis of serum biomarkers in conjunction with routine clinical data and neuroimaging measures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conctc.2020.100574DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7251538PMC
June 2020

Clinical implications of serum neurofilament in newly diagnosed MS patients: A longitudinal multicentre cohort study.

EBioMedicine 2020 Jun 24;56:102807. Epub 2020 May 24.

Department of Neurology, St. Josef-Hospital, Ruhr-University Bochum, Bochum, Germany.

Background: We aim to evaluate serum neurofilament light chain (sNfL), indicating neuroaxonal damage, as a biomarker at diagnosis in a large cohort of early multiple sclerosis (MS) patients.

Methods: In a multicentre prospective longitudinal observational cohort, patients with newly diagnosed relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) or clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) were recruited between August 2010 and November 2015 in 22 centers. Clinical parameters, MRI, and sNfL levels (measured by single molecule array) were assessed at baseline and up to four-year follow-up.

Findings: Of 814 patients, 54.7% (445) were diagnosed with RRMS and 45.3% (369) with CIS when applying 2010 McDonald criteria (RRMS[2010] and CIS[2010]). After reclassification of CIS[2010] patients with existing CSF analysis, according to 2017 criteria, sNfL levels were lower in CIS[2017] than RRMS[2017] patients (9.1 pg/ml, IQR 6.2-13.7 pg/ml, n = 45; 10.8 pg/ml, IQR 7.4-20.1 pg/ml, n = 213; p = 0.036). sNfL levels correlated with number of T2 and Gd+ lesions at baseline and future clinical relapses. Patients receiving disease-modifying therapy (DMT) during the first four years had higher baseline sNfL levels than DMT-naïve patients (11.8 pg/ml, IQR 7.5-20.7 pg/ml, n = 726; 9.7 pg/ml, IQR 6.4-15.3 pg/ml, n = 88). Therapy escalation decisions within this period were reflected by longitudinal changes in sNfL levels.

Interpretation: Assessment of sNfL increases diagnostic accuracy, is associated with disease course prognosis and may, particularly when measured longitudinally, facilitate therapeutic decisions.

Funding: Supported the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research, the German Research Council, and Hertie-Stiftung.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2020.102807DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7251380PMC
June 2020

Prevention and management of adverse effects of disease modifying treatments in multiple sclerosis.

Curr Opin Neurol 2020 06;33(3):286-294

Neuroimmunology Section, Department of Neurology, University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany.

Purpose Of Review: To summarize the currently known side effects of the approved therapies of multiple sclerosis and to suggest monitoring procedures.

Recent Findings: The progress in the treatment of multiple sclerosis with new very effective therapies is accompanied by a number of side effects. Some of these have already been described in the approval studies, but some only after approval in a real world situation. The reason for this is the short duration of the clinical studies, the very heterogeneous patient profile in the real world setting with a number of comorbidities, pretherapies, and wider age range. The side effects may occur during application of therapies or afterwards during the course of the treatment. The side effects may range from mild infections, mild laboratory abnormalities, secondary autoimmune diseases to life-threatening side effects such as progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy.

Summary: It has to be pointed out that these side effects are not to be considered as final and neurologists should be vigilant against new unknown side effects. The doctor should be aware of these undesirable effects, should weigh the benefits of the therapies against the risks, but at the same time she/he should keep in mind that multiple sclerosis can be a very disabling disease if not treated properly.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/WCO.0000000000000824DOI Listing
June 2020

Is ε4 associated with cognitive performance in early MS?

Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm 2020 07 1;7(4). Epub 2020 May 1.

From the Department of Neurology and Focus Program Translational Neuroscience (FTN) (S.E., C.G., M.M., S.B., S.G., F.Z., C.M.L., F.L.), Rhine Main Neuroscience Network (rmn2), University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany; Department of Neurology (A.S.), Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, University of Bern, Switzerland; Department of Neurology (A.S., B.A., R.G.), St. Josef-Hospital, Ruhr-University Bochum; Institute of Medical Biostatistics (G.T.), Epidemiology and Informatics (IMBEI), University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz; Department of Neurology (A. Bayas), Klinikum Augsburg; Department of Neurology (A. Berthele, B.H.), Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technical University of Munich; Institut für Neuroimmunologie und Multiple Sklerose (C.H.), Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf; Clinic of Neurology (L.K., S.G.M., H.W.), University Hospital Münster, Westphalian-Wilhelms-University Münster; Institute of Clinical Neuroimmunology (T.K.), Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich; Department of Neurology (R.A.L.), University Hospital Erlangen; NeuroCure Clinical Research Center and Experimental and Clinical Research Center (F.P.), Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Max Delbrueck Center for Molecular Medicine; Department of Neurology (M.S.), Hannover Medical School; Department of Neurology (B.T.), Philipps-University Marburg; Department of Neurology (F.T.B.), University of Leipzig; Department of Neurology (H.T.), University of Ulm; Clinic of Neurology Dietenbronn (H.T.), Schwendi; Neurology (F.W.), Max-Planck-Institute of Psychiatry, Munich; Neurological Clinic (F.W.), Sana Kliniken des Landkreises Cham; Department of Neurology (B.W.), University of Heidelberg; Department. of Neurology (U.K.Z.), University of Rostock; Central Information Office (CIO) (G.A.), Philipps-University Marburg; and Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology Group (C.M.L.), Lübeck Interdisciplinary Platform for Genome Analytics, Institutes of Neurogenetics and Cardiogenetics, University of Lübeck, Germany.

Objective: To assess the impact of polymorphisms on cognitive performance in patients newly diagnosed with clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) or relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS).

Methods: This multicenter cohort study included 552 untreated patients recently diagnosed with CIS or RRMS according to the 2005 revised McDonald criteria. The single nucleotide polymorphisms rs429358 (ε4) and rs7412 (ε2) of the haplotype were assessed by allelic discrimination assays Cognitive performance was evaluated using the 3-second paced auditory serial addition test and the Multiple Sclerosis Inventory Cognition (MUSIC). Sum scores were calculated to approximate the overall cognitive performance and memory-centered cognitive functions. The impact of the carrier status on cognitive performance was assessed using multiple linear regression models, also including demographic, clinical, MRI, and lifestyle factors.

Results: ε4 homozygosity was associated with lower overall cognitive performance, whereas no relevant association was observed for ε4 heterozygosity or ε2 carrier status. Furthermore, higher disability levels, MRI lesion load, and depressive symptoms were associated with lower cognitive performance. Patients consuming alcohol had higher test scores than patients not consuming alcohol. Female sex, lower disability, and alcohol consumption were associated with better performance in the memory-centered subtests of MUSIC, whereas no relevant association was observed for carrier status.

Conclusion: Along with parameters of a higher disease burden, ε4 homozygosity was identified as a potential predictor of cognitive performance in this large cohort of patients with CIS and early RRMS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/NXI.0000000000000728DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7217661PMC
July 2020

Longitudinal prevalence and determinants of pain in multiple sclerosis: results from the German National Multiple Sclerosis Cohort study.

Pain 2020 04;161(4):787-796

Department of Neurology, Technical University of Munich (TUM), School of Medicine, Munich, Germany.

Pain is frequent in multiple sclerosis (MS) and includes different types, with neuropathic pain (NP) being most closely related to MS pathology. However, prevalence estimates vary largely, and causal relationships between pain and biopsychosocial factors in MS are largely unknown. Longitudinal studies might help to clarify the prevalence and determinants of pain in MS. To this end, we analyzed data from 410 patients with newly diagnosed clinically isolated syndrome or relapsing-remitting MS participating in the prospective multicenter German National MS Cohort Study (NationMS) at baseline and after 4 years. Pain was assessed by self-report using the PainDETECT Questionnaire. Neuropsychiatric assessment included tests for fatigue, depression, and cognition. In addition, sociodemographic and clinical data were obtained. Prevalence of pain of any type was 40% and 36% at baseline and after 4 years, respectively, whereas prevalence of NP was 2% and 5%. Pain of any type and NP were both strongly linked to fatigue, depression, and disability. This link was even stronger after 4 years than at baseline. Moreover, changes in pain, depression, and fatigue were highly correlated without any of these symptoms preceding the others. Taken together, pain of any type seems to be much more frequent than NP in early nonprogressive MS. Moreover, the close relationship between pain, fatigue, and depression in MS should be considered for treatment decisions and future research on a possible common pathophysiology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001767DOI Listing
April 2020

The Rare Signal Peptide Coding Variant rs28385692 Decreases Secretion of IL-22BP Isoform-1, -2 and -3 and Is Associated with Risk for Multiple Sclerosis.

Cells 2020 01 10;9(1). Epub 2020 Jan 10.

Neurogenomiks Laboratory, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), 48940 Leioa, Spain.

The locus is associated with risk for multiple sclerosis (MS) but causative variants are yet to be determined. In a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) screen of this locus in a Basque population, rs28385692, a rare coding variant substituting Leu for Pro at position 16 emerged significantly ( = 0.02). This variant is located in the signal peptide (SP) shared by the three secreted protein isoforms produced by (IL-22 binding protein-1(IL-22BPi1), IL-22BPi2 and IL-22BPi3). Genotyping was extended to a Europe-wide case-control dataset and yielded high significance in the full dataset ( = 3.17 × 10). Importantly, logistic regression analyses conditioning on the main known MS-associated SNP at this locus, rs17066096, revealed that this association was independent from the primary association signal in the full case-control dataset. In silico analysis predicted both disruption of the alpha helix of the H-region of the SP and decreased hydrophobicity of this region, ultimately affecting the SP cleavage site. We tested the effect of the p.Leu16Pro variant on the secretion of IL-22BPi1, IL-22BPi2 and IL-22BPi3 and observed that the Pro16 risk allele significantly lowers secretion levels of each of the isoforms to around 50%-60% in comparison to the Leu16 reference allele. Thus, our study suggests that genetically coded decreased levels of IL-22BP isoforms are associated with augmented risk for MS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cells9010175DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7017210PMC
January 2020

Tick-borne encephalitis vaccination in multiple sclerosis: A prospective, multicenter study.

Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm 2020 01 9;7(2). Epub 2020 Jan 9.

From the Department of Neurology (A.W.), University of Rostock, Germany; Section of Neuroimmunology (C.M., U.K.Z.), Department of Neurology; and Department of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases (S.F., E.C.R., M.L.).

Objective: To assess the changes in disease activity after tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) vaccination in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) on a variety of disease-modifying drugs and to assess the immunogenicity, safety, and clinical tolerability of the vaccine in this patient group.

Methods: We conducted a prospective, multicenter, nonrandomized observational study. We enrolled 20 patients with MS receiving TBE vaccination who had been on disease-modifying treatment (DMT) for at least 6 months. Serum samples were obtained before and after 4 weeks of vaccination to determine the specific TBE antibody response. MS disease activity (Expanded Disability Status Scale and relapse rates) was evaluated for 1 year after immunization. Local and systemic adverse events were registered.

Results: In 20 subjects with TBE vaccination, the annualized relapse rate decreased from 0.65 in the year before vaccination to 0.21 in the following year. Expanded Disability Status Scale remained stable during the 2-year period before vaccination and 1 year after vaccination (range: 1.50-1.97). The geometric mean titer (GMT) increased from 169 Vienna units per milliliter (VIEU/mL) to 719 VIEU/mL 4 weeks after vaccination ( = 0.001), and 77.8% had protective antibody titers after vaccination. In 9 patients treated with beta interferons, GMT increased from 181 VIEU/mL to 690 VIEU/mL ( = 0.018). Three subjects treated with glatiramer acetate developed a 2- to 9.6-fold increase. Patients treated with fingolimod developed the lowest increase in antibody titer.

Conclusion: TBE vaccination showed good tolerability and was safe in patients with MS. MS disease activity was not increased, and annualized relapse rates decreased after vaccination. Vaccine response differs according to the underlying DMT.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, clinicaltrials.gov, Identifier: NCT02275741.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/NXI.0000000000000664DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6984132PMC
January 2020

[Indications for varicella zoster and herpes zoster vaccination in multiple sclerosis: current situation].

Nervenarzt 2019 Dec;90(12):1254-1260

Klinik und Poliklinik für Neurologie, Universitätsmedizin Rostock, Gehlsheimer Str. 20, 18147, Rostock, Deutschland.

In patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) primary varicella zoster virus (VZV) infections (chickenpox) or reactivation (shingles, herpes zoster) pose a particular challenge for neurologists and physicians in everyday clinical practice. On the one hand the various immunotherapeutic agents for treatment of MS have differently expressed risks for VZV-associated infections and on the other hand the currently available vaccination strategies (dead vs. live vaccines, single vs. combination vaccines) require an individualized approach. Moreover, in addition to the optimal timing of vaccination during the course of MS, the appropriate vaccine and, where indicated, the use of antiviral drugs should be determined.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00115-019-00806-xDOI Listing
December 2019

Vaccination in Multiple Sclerosis: Friend or Foe?

Front Immunol 2019 7;10:1883. Epub 2019 Aug 7.

Department of Neurology, Neuroimmunological Section, University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating disease of the central nervous systems (CNS). Disease-modifying treatments (including immunosuppressive treatments) have shown positive effects on the disease course, but are associated with systemic consequences on the immune system and may increase the risk of infections and alter vaccine efficiency. Therefore, vaccination of MS patients is of major interest. Over the last years, vaccine hesitancy has steadily grown especially in Western countries, partly due to fear of sequelae arising from vaccination, especially neurological disorders. The interaction of vaccination and MS has been discussed for decades. In this review, we highlight the immunology of vaccination, provide a review of literature and discuss the clinical consideration of MS, vaccination and immunosuppression. In conclusion, there is consensus that MS cannot be caused by vaccines, neither by inactivated nor by live vaccines. However, particular attention should be paid to two aspects: First, in immunocompromised patients, live vaccines may lead to a stronger immune reaction with signs of the disease against which the patients have been vaccinated, albeit in weakened form. Second, protection provided by vaccination should be controlled in patients who have been vaccinated while receiving immunomodulatory or immunosuppressive treatment. In conclusion, there is evidence that systemic infections can worsen MS, thus vaccination will lower the risk of relapses by reducing the risk of infections. Therefore, vaccination should be in general recommended to MS patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2019.01883DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6693409PMC
October 2020

A nonsynonymous mutation in PLCG2 reduces the risk of Alzheimer's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies and frontotemporal dementia, and increases the likelihood of longevity.

Acta Neuropathol 2019 08 27;138(2):237-250. Epub 2019 May 27.

Centro de Investigacion Biomedica en Red en Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas (CIBERNED), Madrid, Spain.

The genetic variant rs72824905-G (minor allele) in the PLCG2 gene was previously associated with a reduced Alzheimer's disease risk (AD). The role of PLCG2 in immune system signaling suggests it may also protect against other neurodegenerative diseases and possibly associates with longevity. We studied the effect of the rs72824905-G on seven neurodegenerative diseases and longevity, using 53,627 patients, 3,516 long-lived individuals and 149,290 study-matched controls. We replicated the association of rs72824905-G with reduced AD risk and we found an association with reduced risk of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). We did not find evidence for an effect on Parkinson's disease (PD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and multiple sclerosis (MS) risks, despite adequate sample sizes. Conversely, the rs72824905-G allele was associated with increased likelihood of longevity. By-proxy analyses in the UK Biobank supported the associations with both dementia and longevity. Concluding, rs72824905-G has a protective effect against multiple neurodegenerative diseases indicating shared aspects of disease etiology. Our findings merit studying the PLCγ2 pathway as drug-target.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00401-019-02026-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6660501PMC
August 2019

A smart peek: Processing of rapid visual displays is disturbed in newly diagnosed, cognitively intact MS patients and refers to cognitive performance and disease progression in late stages.

J Neurol Sci 2019 Jun 23;401:118-124. Epub 2019 Apr 23.

Universitätsklinikum Jena, Department of Neurology, Am Klinikum 1, 07747 Jena, Germany. Electronic address:

Background: MS can reduce the speed of information processing (IPS) leading to a variable pattern of cognitive impairment. To better understand this deficit, a separate evaluation of the sensory, cognitive, and motor speed component is required. Tests using rapid visual displays allow for assessment of separate components of information uptake. We utilized such a test to compare deficit profiles at the earlier and later stage of MS and their relation to cognitive ability and disease progression.

Method: Two groups were evaluated: "Early MS" comprised N = 24 patients with disease durations <2 years; "late MS" N = 45 with disease durations >12 years. Rapid visual displays of letters were utilized to derive individual profiles of visual information uptake according to the 'theory of visual attention' (TVA). The resulting data was then compared with measures of disability, fatigue, depression, IPS, visual-spatial ability, verbal and visual memory.

Results: In the EMS group, where cognitive impairment was the exception, three of the four main parameters of visual information uptake were already modified, i.e. processing rate C, storage capacity K, and iconic memory μ. In LMS an additional elevation of the fourth parameter, i.e., the perceptual threshold t was evident. Threshold values were related to most clinical and cognitive measures.

Conclusions: An early deficit pattern of visual information uptake can be detected at a stage, when performance in tests of IPS is still well-preserved. At later disease stages, a single parameter reflecting the threshold of conscious visual perception may provide a valid estimate of cognitive performance and disease progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jns.2019.04.031DOI Listing
June 2019

Association of Intrathecal Immunoglobulin G Synthesis With Disability Worsening in Multiple Sclerosis.

JAMA Neurol 2019 07;76(7):841-849

Department of Neurology, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany.

Importance: Reliable biomarkers associated with disability worsening in multiple sclerosis (MS) are still needed.

Objective: To determine a possible association of intrathecal IgG synthesis and early disability worsening as measured by Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) scoring in patients with relapsing-remitting MS or clinically isolated syndrome.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Cerebrospinal fluid measurements and clinical data from the observational longitudinal German national multiple sclerosis cohort were analyzed. Patients were recruited between August 2010 and November 2015 from 18 centers. Data analysis was completed from August 2018 to December 2018.

Exposure: Patients were offered standard immunotherapies per national treatment guidelines.

Main Outcomes And Measures: A possible association between intrathecal IgG synthesis and risk of EDSS worsening 4 years after study inclusion was tested as the primary end point by multivariable binomial regression analysis. Kaplan-Meier analysis with a log-rank test was used to assess the association of intrathecal IgG synthesis with the time to EDSS worsening. Associations between intrathecal IgM or IgA synthesis and other cerebrospinal fluid parameters and EDSS worsening were analyzed as exploratory end points. Data collection began before the hypotheses were formulated.

Results: Of all 1376 patients in the German Competence Network of Multiple Sclerosis cohort, 703 patients were excluded owing to missing cerebrospinal fluid or EDSS data. Of the 673 included patients, 459 (68.2%) were women. The mean (SD) age at baseline was 34 (10) years. Intrathecal IgG synthesis was associated with a higher risk of EDSS worsening after 4 years (odds ratio, 2.02 [95% CI, 1.15-3.58]; P = .01), independent of the occurrence of relapses and disease-modifying therapy. Additionally, intrathecal IgG synthesis was associated with earlier EDSS worsening; 4 years after study entry, worsening occurred in 28.4% (95% CI, 22.7%-34.1%) and 18.1% (95% CI, 12.4%-23.9%) of patients with and without intrathecal IgG synthesis, respectively. No association of other routine cerebrospinal fluid parameters with EDSS worsening was found.

Conclusions And Relevance: Patients with new diagnoses of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis or clinically isolated syndrome with intrathecal IgG synthesis had a higher risk of and shorter time to EDSS worsening across a 4-year period of follow-up. Intrathecal IgG synthesis is a potentially useful marker for disability worsening in patients with multiple sclerosis and may be useful for early treatment decisions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2019.0905DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6583696PMC
July 2019

The Cerebrospinal Fluid in Multiple Sclerosis.

Front Immunol 2019 12;10:726. Epub 2019 Apr 12.

Division of Neuroimmunology, Department of Neurology, University Medicine Rostock, Rostock, Germany.

Investigation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the diagnostic work-up in suspected multiple sclerosis (MS) patients has regained attention in the latest version of the diagnostic criteria due to its good diagnostic accuracy and increasing issues with misdiagnosis of MS based on over interpretation of neuroimaging results. The hallmark of MS-specific changes in CSF is the detection of oligoclonal bands (OCB) which occur in the vast majority of MS patients. Lack of OCB has a very high negative predictive value indicating a red flag during the diagnostic work-up, and alternative diagnoses should be considered in such patients. Additional molecules of CSF can help to support the diagnosis of MS, improve the differential diagnosis of MS subtypes and predict the course of the disease, thus selecting the optimal therapy for each patient.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2019.00726DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6473053PMC
August 2020

Glial Activation Markers in CSF and Serum From Patients With Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis: Potential of Serum GFAP as Disease Severity Marker?

Front Neurol 2019 26;10:280. Epub 2019 Mar 26.

Department of Neurology, University Hospital of Ulm, Ulm, Germany.

In progressive multiple sclerosis (MS), glial activation is thought to be a relevant mechanism of disability progression. Therefore, assessment of the glial cell activity is, in the emerging treatment era of primary progressive MS (PPMS), more important than ever. To test the association of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and serum markers of glial activation in PPMS patients; including glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), chitinase-3-like protein 1 (CHI3L1), soluble variant of triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 (sTREM2), and marker of neuroaxonal damage (Neurofilament light chain, NfL) as well as clinical severity. CSF and serum samples from PPMS patients were collected in the MS-centers at Universities of Freiburg ( = 49), Ulm ( = 27), Muenster ( = 11), and Rostock ( = 6). sTREM2 and CHI3L1 levels were measured using the previously reported ELISA assays, while NfL and GFAP were measured using SIMOA assays. Clinical data included age, gender, disease duration, treatment status, and Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS). 93 CSF samples and 71 matching serum samples were analyzed. The median age of patients was 49 years and disease duration 4.5 years. GFAP correlated with EDSS after correction for age (β = 0.3, = 0.001). Furthermore, EDSS was higher in patients with a GFAP level ≥ 151.7 pg/ml compared to patients with GFAP below this cut-off (5.5 vs. 4.0, = 0.009). Other markers did not correlate with the clinical severity. Moreover, we found a correlation between NfL and GFAP, sTREM2 and CHI3L1 (ρ = 0.4 for GFAP and sTREM2, ρ = 0.3 for CHI3L1, < 0.01 for sTREM2 and CHI3L1 and <0.001 for GFAP). CHI3L1 did not correlate with GFAP but with sTREM2 (ρ = 0.4, < 0.01). The correlation between the glial activation markers in CSF with the markers of neuroaxonal demise supports the notion of the glial involvement in PPMS. The positive correlation between GFAP with disease duration and GFAP with the clinical severity of the disease may highlight a particular role of the astrocytes in PPMS and mark the potential of GFAP as a disease severity marker.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2019.00280DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6443875PMC
March 2019

Dysregulation of Inflammasome Priming and Activation by MicroRNAs in Human Immune-Mediated Diseases.

J Immunol 2019 04;202(8):2177-2187

Division of Neuroimmunology, Department of Neurology, University of Rostock, 18147 Rostock, Germany; and.

Inflammasomes are protein complexes that respond to a wide range of pathogens and cellular damage signals. Their activation prompts the caspase-1-mediated cleavage of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-1β and IL-18. Inflammasome dysregulation has been demonstrated to play a role in a range of diseases involving the adaptive immune system like multiple sclerosis, rheumatic diseases, and type 1 diabetes. Priming and activation of inflammasomes can be modulated by microRNAs (miRNAs), small noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression posttranscriptionally. miRNAs, such as miR-223-3p, have been demonstrated to directly target the inflammasome components NLRP3, caspase-1, and caspase-8. Other miRNAs like miR-155-5p modulate TLR-, IL-1R-, TNFR-, and IFNAR-mediated signaling pathways upstream of the inflammasomes. In this study, we discuss how a more detailed elucidation of miRNA-driven inflammasome regulation helps in understanding the molecular processes underlying immune-mediated human diseases, holds potential for the identification of biomarkers and may offer novel targets for the development of future therapeutics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.1801416DOI Listing
April 2019

TPP2 mutation associated with sterile brain inflammation mimicking MS.

Neurol Genet 2018 Dec 13;4(6):e285. Epub 2018 Nov 13.

Department of Neurology (E.M.R., S.P., C.S., F.L., F.Z., A.Z.), Medical University of Vienna, Austria; Institut für Humangenetik (E.G., T.W., T.S.), Helmholtz Zentrum München, Germany; Center for Brain Research (T.Z., H.L.), Medical University of Vienna; Division of Nephrology and Dialysis (C.K.), Department of Internal Medicine III, Medical University of Vienna; Department of Physical Medicine (M.K.), Rehabilitation and Occupational Medicine, Medical University of Vienna, Austria; Lübeck Interdisciplinary Platform for Genome Analytics (C.M.L.), Institutes of Neurogenetics and for Cardiogenetics, University of Lübeck; Department of Neurology and Neuroimaging Center (NIC) (C.M.L.), Focus Program Translational Neuroscience (FTN), University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz; Department of Human Genetics (S.H., J.T.E.), Ruhr-University Bochum; Herdecke (J.T.E.), ZBAF, Faculty of Health, University Witten; Department of Neurology (U.K.Z., M.H.), Neuroimmunological Section, University of Rostock; Department of Neurology (A.D.), Department of Clinical Genomics (A.D.), Department of Neuroscience (A.D.), Jeweils Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL; Department of Neurology (S.G.M.), University of Muenster, Germany; Department of Physiology and Biochemistry (M.A., B.M.), School of Medicine, the University of Jordan; The National Center (Institute) for Diabetes (M.E.-K.), Endocrinology and Genetics (NCDEG), Amman, Jordan; Department of Medical Genetics (C.V.-G., A.D.S.), University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada; Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology (B.T.), Uppsala University, Sweden; Karl Landsteiner Institute for Neuroimmunological and Neurodegenerative Disorders (W.K.), SMZ-Ost-Donauspital, Vienna, Austria; and Institute for Neuroimmunological and Neurodegenerative Disorders (W.K.), SMZ-Ost-Donauspital, Vienna, Austria.

Objective: To ascertain the genetic cause of a consanguineous family from Syria suffering from a sterile brain inflammation mimicking a mild nonprogressive form of MS.

Methods: We used homozygosity mapping and next-generation sequencing to detect the disease-causing gene in the affected siblings. In addition, we performed RNA and protein expression studies, enzymatic activity assays, immunohistochemistry, and targeted sequencing of further MS cases from Austria, Germany, Canada and Jordan.

Results: In this study, we describe the identification of a homozygous missense mutation (c.82T>G, p.Cys28Gly) in the tripeptidyl peptidase II () gene in all 3 affected siblings of the family. Sequencing of all -coding exons in 826 MS cases identified one further homozygous missense variant (c.2027C>T, p.Thr676Ile) in a Jordanian MS patient. TPP2 protein expression in whole blood was reduced in the affected siblings. In contrast, TPP2 protein expression in postmortem brain tissue from MS patients without mutations was highly upregulated.

Conclusions: The homozygous mutation (p.Cys28Gly) is likely responsible for the inflammation phenotype in this family. is an ubiquitously expressed serine peptidase that removes tripeptides from the N-terminal end of longer peptides. TPP2 is involved in various biological processes including the destruction of major histocompatibility complex Class I epitopes. Recessive loss-of-function mutations in were described in patients with Evans syndrome, a rare autoimmune disease affecting the hematopoietic system. Based on the gene expression results in our MS autopsy brain samples, we further suggest that may play a broader role in the inflammatory process in MS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/NXG.0000000000000285DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6244017PMC
December 2018