230 research outputs found

    The potential of serum neurofilament as biomarker for multiple sclerosis

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    Biomarcadores; Neurofilamento; Respuesta a la terapiaBiomarkers; Neurofilament; Therapy responseBiomarcadors; Neurofilament; Resposta a la teràpiaMultiple sclerosis is a highly heterogeneous disease, and the detection of neuroaxonal damage as well as its quantification is a critical step for patients. Blood-based serum neurofilament light chain (sNfL) is currently under close investigation as an easily accessible biomarker of prognosis and treatment response in patients with multiple sclerosis. There is abundant evidence that sNfL levels reflect ongoing inflammatory-driven neuroaxonal damage (e.g. relapses or MRI disease activity) and that sNfL levels predict disease activity over the next few years. In contrast, the association of sNfL with long-term clinical outcomes or its ability to reflect slow, diffuse neurodegenerative damage in multiple sclerosis is less clear. However, early results from real-world cohorts and clinical trials using sNfL as a marker of treatment response in multiple sclerosis are encouraging. Importantly, clinical algorithms should now be developed that incorporate the routine use of sNfL to guide individualized clinical decision-making in people with multiple sclerosis, together with additional fluid biomarkers and clinical and MRI measures. Here, we propose specific clinical scenarios where implementing sNfL measures may be of utility, including, among others: initial diagnosis, first treatment choice, surveillance of subclinical disease activity and guidance of therapy selection.This work was supported by the German Research Council (DFG, CRC-TR-128 to F.Z. and S.B.), Hertie-Stiftung (myLab to S.B.), the Progressive Multiple Sclerosis Alliance (PMSA, BRAVEinMS PA-1604-08492 to F.Z.), and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF, VIP+ HaltMS to F.Z.)

    Case Report: Balancing immune responses – multiple sclerosis disease exacerbation under BRAF/MEK treatment for malignant melanoma

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    BackgroundCombination treatment with BRAF/MEK inhibitors favorably impact progression-free survival in malignant melanoma. However, it may cause paradoxical activation of the MAPK/ERK pathway in immune cells without BRAF mutation, which may lead to over activation of the immune system, especially in patients with pre-existing autoimmune conditions. In this case report, treatment of malignant melanoma with BRAF/MEK inhibitors was associated with radiological disease exacerbation of pre-existing multiple sclerosis (MS).Case presentationA 47-year-old patient with pre-existing MS was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in June 2020. Anti-tumor treatment was initiated with a combination therapy of BRAF inhibitor dabrafenib and MEK inhibitor trametinib. In February 2022, the patient presented at our neurological clinic after routine MRI revealed exacerbation of radiological MS disease activity with ten new and gadolinium-enhancing lesions, and concomitant high levels of neurofilament light chain (NfL) in serum, a marker for axonal damage. In-depth analysis of immune cells in both peripheral blood and cerebrospinal fluid was performed by multi-color flow cytometry. After treatment with the B cell-depleting antibody ocrelizumab, MS disease stability was obtained and anti-tumor medication could be continued.ConclusionsImmunomodulatory treatment in cancer patients is highly effective from an oncological point of view, but may be associated with autoimmune side effects. This is of special importance in patients with pre-existing autoimmune diseases, as reflected by our case of MS disease reactivation under treatment with BRAF/MEK inhibitors. In our case, sequential modulation of immune cell subsets by B cell depletion, associated with marked shifts in B and T cell subsets, allowed for stabilization of disease and continuation of anti-tumor treatment

    Increased cortical curvature reflects white matter atrophy in individual patients with early multiple sclerosis

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    AbstractObjectiveWhite matter atrophy occurs independently of lesions in multiple sclerosis. In contrast to lesion detection, the quantitative assessment of white matter atrophy in individual patients has been regarded as a major challenge. We therefore tested the hypothesis that white matter atrophy (WMA) is present at the very beginning of multiple sclerosis (MS) and in virtually each individual patient. To find a new sensitive and robust marker for WMA we investigated the relationship between cortical surface area, white matter volume (WMV), and whole-brain-surface-averaged rectified cortical extrinsic curvature. Based on geometrical considerations we hypothesized that cortical curvature increases if WMV decreases and the cortical surface area remains constant.MethodsIn total, 95 participants were enrolled: 30 patients with early and advanced relapsing–remitting MS; 30 age-matched control subjects; 30 patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and 5 patients with clinically isolated syndrome (CIS).Results29/30 MS and 5/5 CIS patients showed lower WMV than expected from their intracranial volume (average reduction 13.0%, P<10−10), while the cortical surface area showed no significant differences compared with controls. The estimated WMV reductions were correlated with an increase in cortical curvature (R=0.62, P=0.000001). Discriminant analysis revealed that the curvature increase was highly specific for the MS and CIS groups (96.7% correct assignments between MS and control groups) and was significantly correlated with reduction of white matter fractional anisotropy, as determined by diffusion tensor imaging and the Expanded Disability Status Scale. As expected by the predominant gray and WM degeneration in AD, no systematic curvature increase was observed in AD.ConclusionWhole-brain-averaged cortical extrinsic curvature appears to be a specific and quantitative marker for a WMV–cortex disproportionality and allows us to assess “pure” WMA without being confounded by intracranial volume. WMA seems to be a characteristic symptom in early MS and can already occur in patients with CIS and should thus be considered in future MS research and clinical studies

    Activation of Microglial Poly(ADP-Ribose)-Polymerase-1 by Cholesterol Breakdown Products during Neuroinflammation: a Link between Demyelination and Neuronal Damage

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    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic demyelinating disease in which it has only recently been suggested that damage to neuronal structures plays a key role. Here, we uncovered a link between the release of lipid breakdown products, found in the brain and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of MS patients as well as in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, and neuronal damage mediated by microglial activation. The concentrations of the breakdown product 7-ketocholesterol detected in the CSF of MS patients were capable of inducing neuronal damage via the activation and migration of microglial cells in living brain tissue. 7-ketocholesterol rapidly entered the nucleus and activated poly(ADP-ribose)-polymerase (PARP)-1, followed by the expression of migration-regulating integrins CD11a and intercellular adhesion molecule 1. These findings reveal a novel mechanism linking demyelination and progressive neuronal damage, which might represent an underlying insidious process driving disease beyond a primary white matter phenomenon and rendering the microglial PARP-1 a possible antiinflammatory therapeutic target

    Treatment of Relapsing Paralysis in Experimental Encephalomyelitis by Targeting Th1 Cells through Atorvastatin

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    Statins, known as inhibitors of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase, exhibit numerous functions related to inflammation, such as MHC class II down-regulation, interference with T cell adhesion, and induction of apoptosis. Here we demonstrate that both subcutaneous and oral administration of atorvastatin inhibit the development of actively induced chronic experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in SJL/J mice and significantly reduce the inflammatory infiltration into the central nervous system (CNS). When treatment was started after disease onset, atorvastatin reduced the incidence of relapses and protected from the development of further disability. Both the reduced autoreactive T cell response measured by proliferation toward the encephalitogenic peptide PLP139–151 and the cytokine profile indicate a potent blockade of T helper cell type 1 immune response. In in vitro assays atorvastatin not only inhibited antigen-specific responses, but also decreased T cell proliferation mediated by direct TCR engagement independently of MHC class II and LFA-1. Inhibition of proliferation was not due to apoptosis induction, but linked to a negative regulation on cell cycle progression. However, early T cell activation was unaffected, as reflected by unaltered calcium fluxes. Thus, our results provide evidence for a beneficial role of statins in the treatment of autoimmune attack on the CNS

    Covarying patterns of white matter lesions and cortical atrophy predict progression in early MS

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    Objective We applied longitudinal 3T MRI and advanced computational models in 2 independent cohorts of patients with early MS to investigate how white matter (WM) lesion distribution and cortical atrophy topographically interrelate and affect functional disability. Methods Clinical disability was measured using the Expanded Disability Status Scale Score at baseline and at 1-year follow-up in a cohort of 119 patients with early relapsing-remitting MS and in a replication cohort of 81 patients. Covarying patterns of cortical atrophy and baseline lesion distribution were extracted by parallel independent component analysis. Predictive power of covarying patterns for disability progression was tested by receiver operating characteristic analysis at the group level and support vector machine for individual patient outcome. Results In the study cohort, we identified 3 distinct distribution types of WM lesions (cerebellar, bihemispheric, and left lateralized) that were associated with characteristic cortical atrophy distributions. The cerebellar and left-lateralized patterns were reproducibly detected in the second cohort. Each of the patterns predicted to different extents, short-term disability progression, whereas the cerebellar pattern was associated with the highest risk of clinical worsening, predicting individual disability progression with an accuracy of 88% (study cohort) and 89% (replication cohort), respectively. Conclusion These findings highlight the role of distinct spatial distribution of cortical atrophy and WM lesions predicting disability. The cerebellar involvement is shown as a key determinant of rapid clinical deterioration

    Serum neurofilament levels reflect outer retinal layer changes in multiple sclerosis

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    Background:Serum neurofilament light chain (sNfL) and distinct intra-retinal layers are both promising biomarkers of neuro-axonal injury in multiple sclerosis (MS). We aimed to unravel the association of both markers in early MS, having identified that neurofilament has a distinct immunohistochemical expression pattern among intra-retinal layers. Methods:Three-dimensional (3D) spectral domain macular optical coherence tomography scans and sNfL levels were investigated in 156 early MS patients (female/male: 109/47, mean age: 33.3 ± 9.5 years, mean disease duration: 2.0 ± 3.3 years). Out of the whole cohort, 110 patients had no history of optic neuritis (NHON) and 46 patients had a previous history of optic neuritis (HON). In addition, a subgroup of patients (n = 38) was studied longitudinally over 2 years. Support vector machine analysis was applied to test a regression model for significant changes. Results:In our cohort, HON patients had a thinner outer plexiform layer (OPL) volume compared to NHON patients (B = −0.016, SE = 0.006, p = 0.013). Higher sNfL levels were significantly associated with thinner OPL volumes in HON patients (B = −6.734, SE = 2.514, p = 0.011). This finding was corroborated in the longitudinal subanalysis by the association of higher sNfL levels with OPL atrophy (B = 5.974, SE = 2.420, p = 0.019). sNfL levels were 75.7% accurate at predicting OPL volume in the supervised machine learning. Conclusions:In summary, sNfL levels were a good predictor of future outer retinal thinning in MS. Changes within the neurofilament-rich OPL could be considered as an additional retinal marker linked to MS neurodegeneration

    In vivo imaging of lymphocytes in the CNS reveals different behaviour of naïve T cells in health and autoimmunity

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Two-photon laser scanning microscopy (TPLSM) has become a powerful tool in the visualization of immune cell dynamics and cellular communication within the complex biological networks of the inflamed central nervous system (CNS). Whereas many previous studies mainly focused on the role of effector or effector memory T cells, the role of naïve T cells as possible key players in immune regulation directly in the CNS is still highly debated.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>We applied <it>ex vivo </it>and intravital TPLSM to investigate migratory pathways of naïve T cells in the inflamed and non-inflamed CNS. MACS-sorted naïve CD4+ T cells were either applied on healthy CNS slices or intravenously injected into RAG1 -/- mice, which were affected by experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). We further checked for the generation of second harmonic generation (SHG) signals produced by extracellular matrix (ECM) structures.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>By applying TPLSM on living brain slices we could show that the migratory capacity of activated CD4+ T cells is not strongly influenced by antigen specificity and is independent of regulatory or effector T cell phenotype. Naïve T cells, however, cannot find sufficient migratory signals in healthy, non-inflamed CNS parenchyma since they only showed stationary behaviour in this context. This is in contrast to the high motility of naïve CD4+ T cells in lymphoid organs. We observed a highly motile migration pattern for naïve T cells as compared to effector CD4+ T cells in inflamed brain tissue of living EAE-affected mice. Interestingly, in the inflamed CNS we could detect reticular structures by their SHG signal which partially co-localises with naïve CD4+ T cell tracks.</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>The activation status rather than antigen specificity or regulatory phenotype is the central requirement for CD4+ T cell migration within healthy CNS tissue. However, under inflammatory conditions naïve CD4+ T cells can get access to CNS parenchyma and partially migrate along inflammation-induced extracellular SHG structures, which are similar to those seen in lymphoid organs. These SHG structures apparently provide essential migratory signals for naïve CD4+ T cells within the diseased CNS.</p

    Continuous reorganization of cortical information flow in multiple sclerosis : a longitudinal fMRI effective connectivity study

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    Effective connectivity (EC) is able to explore causal effects between brain areas and can depict mechanisms that underlie repair and adaptation in chronic brain diseases. Thus, the application of EC techniques in multiple sclerosis (MS) has the potential to determine directionality of neuronal interactions and may provide an imaging biomarker for disease progression. Here, serial longitudinal structural and resting-state fMRI was performed at 12-week intervals over one year in twelve MS patients. Twelve healthy subjects served as controls (HC). Two approaches for EC quantification were used: Causal Bayesian Network (CBN) and Time-resolved Partial Directed Coherence (TPDC). The EC strength was correlated with the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) and Fatigue Scale for Motor and Cognitive functions (FSMC). Our findings demonstrated a longitudinal increase in EC between specific brain regions, detected in both the CBN and TPDC analysis in MS patients. In particular, EC from the deep grey matter, frontal, prefrontal and temporal regions showed a continuous increase over the study period. No longitudinal changes in EC were attested in HC during the study. Furthermore, we observed an association between clinical performance and EC strength. In particular, the EC increase in fronto-cerebellar connections showed an inverse correlation with the EDSS and FSMC. Our data depict continuous functional reorganization between specific brain regions indicated by increasing EC over time in MS, which is not detectable in HC. In particular, fronto-cerebellar connections, which were closely related to clinical performance, may provide a marker of brain plasticity and functional reserve in MS
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