Levels of plasma sulfatides C18 : 0 and C24 : 1 correlate with disease status in relapsing–remitting multiple sclerosis

Authors

  • Ana L Moyano,

    1. Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA
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  • Katarzyna Pituch,

    1. Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA
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  • Guanan Li,

    1. Department of Medical Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA
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  • Richard van Breemen,

    1. Department of Medical Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA
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  • Jan E Mansson,

    1. Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, The Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Mölndal, Sweden
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  • Maria I Givogri

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA
    • Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr Maria Irene Givogri, Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology, College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, 808 S. Wood St. M/C 512, Chicago, IL. USA. E-mail: mgivogri@uic.edu

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Abstract

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is considered an autoimmune demyelinating disease of the CNS and myelin-derived glycolipids are one of the targets of this autoimmune attack. In this study, we examined for the first time the plasma distribution of sulfatide isoforms. Sulfatides with long-chain (C24 : 0 or C24 : 1) and short-chain (C16 : 0 or C18 : 0) fatty acids were quantified in plasma of relapsing–remitting MS patients by ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. We found that C18 : 0 and C24 : 1 sulfatide plasma levels positively correlated with the Expanded Disability Status Scale. C16/C18 : 0 and C16/C24 : 0 ratios also correlated with the age and the time since last relapse. Healthy women showed higher levels of C16 : 0 sulfatide than healthy men; however, this gender difference disappeared in MS patients. Our data underline the potential use of sulfatides as biomarkers in relapsing–remitting MS and points to a possible association with the higher susceptibility of women to develop MS.

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Sulfatides are glycolipids highly enriched in myelin that have been associated with multiple sclerosis (MS). In this study, we have found a positive correlation between levels of specific sulfatides in plasma and increased disability in patients with relapsing-remitting MS. These findings underline the potential use of these molecules as biomarkers for MS.

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