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J Neuroimmunol. 2004 Jul;152(1-2):154-67.

Multiple sclerosis as a generalized CNS disease--comparative microarray analysis of normal appearing white matter and lesions in secondary progressive MS.

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Clinical Neuroimmunology Laboratory, Departments of Research and Neurology, University Hospitals Basel, Pharmazentrum, Klingelbergstrasse 50, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland.


We used microarrays to compare the gene expression profile in active lesions and donor-matched normal appearing white matter (NAWM) from brain autopsy samples of patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) with that from controls who died from non-neurological diseases. The 123 genes in lesions, and 47 genes in NAWM(MS) were differentially expressed. Lesions distinguished from NAWM(MS) by a higher expression of genes related to immunoglobulin synthesis and neuroglial differentiation, while cellular immune response elements were equally dysregulated in both tissue compartments. Current results provide molecular evidence of a continuum of dysfunctional homeostasis and inflammatory changes between lesions and NAWM(MS), and support the concept of MS pathogenesis being a generalised process that involves the entire CNS.

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