Osteopontin a marker of MS activity

Szalardy L, Zadori D, Simu M, Bencsik K, Vecsei L, Klivenyi P.

Biomarkers capable of predicting the clinical course and the rate of disease progression in multiple sclerosis are currently unavailable. Our objective was to examine if the levels of proteins associated with axonal and neuronal degeneration (Tau and β-amyloid) and T-cell-mediated autoimmunity (osteopontin) are altered in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of MS patients, and to assess their potential in reflecting the clinical severity and predicting the progression and clinical evolution of early MS. The CSF samples collected from patients presenting with different clinical forms of MS were evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. The patients were regularly followed-up and their clinical status was re-evaluated 5 years after sampling. The results demonstrated that while CSF levels of Tau and β-amyloid did not differ between MS and Control groups, the levels of osteopontin were significantly elevated in MS patients. This increase was associated with the presence of a relapse and correlated with clinical severity, which findings were independent of age and blood-CSF barrier function. However, none of the examined protein levels differed significantly between groups with different clinical evolutions and no positive correlations with clinical progression could be detected. We conclude that Tau and β-amyloid are inappropriate as biomarkers in MS. This is the first report on CSF osteopontin as an independent marker of clinical severity in definite MS.

Tau and B amyloid are proteins have been associated with Alzheimers disease, but also get expressed in the brains of MSers either as part of or inresponse to the disease process. This study could not link the presence of these proteins to disease course, but this is not the case with osteopontin. Osteopontin is a bone protein that was later found to affect T cell (white blood cell function).  

This study reports that it is a marker of inflammation. This work confirms previous studies that reported that “osteopontin concentration in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a dynamic indicator of disease activity in relapsing remitting MS, presumably reflecting ongoing inflammation. Increased CSF osteopontin concentrations in primary progressive MS may indicate ongoing inflammation even in these patients”

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