CSF inflammation and axonal damage are increased and correlate in progressive multiple sclerosis

This study looked at biomarkers of inflammation, axonal damage and demyelination in the CSF and to see if these biomarkers are associated with progressive MS.

They analysed the CSF using ELISA from 40 SPMS, 21 PPMS, 36 RRMS and 20 non-inflammatory neurological disease patients. Results showed that inflammatory biomarkers osteopontin and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP9) were increased in all MS patients. Biomarkers of axonal damage-neurofilament light chain (NFL) and demyelination-myelin basic protein (MBP) were increased in all MS patients. In progressive MS patients CSF levels of osteopontin and CXCL13 correlate with NFL, while osteopontin and MMP9 correlated with MBP.

Overall, biomarkers of inflammation and axonal damage are continuously increased in the CSF of progressive MS patients and, importantly, inflammation and axonal damage biomarkers are significantly correlated. These findings are in keeping with pathological studies which have found an association between inflammation and axonal damage in progressive MS.

One unexpected finding in this study was that the CSF concentration of MBP decreased slightly but significantly during one year of follow up.

Authors: Romme Christensen J, Börnsen L, Khademi M,

Source: Mult Scler. 2012 Nov 24. [Epub ahead of print]

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