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J Neuroimmunol. 2013 Oct 15;263(1-2):121-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2013.07.010. Epub 2013 Aug 2.

Interactions of serum cholesterol with anti-herpesvirus responses affect disease progression in clinically isolated syndromes.

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Department of Neurology, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY, USA.



To investigate whether anti-herpesvirus antibodies are associated with serum cholesterol profiles in clinically isolated syndromes (CIS).


Pre-treatment serum samples from 118 high-risk CIS patients were analyzed for IgG antibodies against cytomegalovirus (anti-CMV), Epstein Barr virus (EBV) viral capsid antigen (VCA) and EBV nuclear antigen-1 (EBNA-1). A lipid profile consisting of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and total cholesterol (TC) was obtained. Clinical and MRI assessments were obtained at baseline, 6, 12, and 24 months after start of interferon-beta treatment.


The study included 118 CIS patients (77 females, 41 males, 65.3% female; mean age: 28.1±SD 8.1 years). Anti-EBV EBNA-1 antibody levels were associated with LDL-C (p=0.009) and TC (p=0.008) levels. Anti-CMV positivity status was associated with reduced time to relapse (p=0.006) and the greater number of relapses (p=0.009) in patients with high HDL-C. Anti-EBV VCA antibody levels were associated with greater number of new T2 lesions (p=0.002) and with increased brain atrophy (p<0.001) in patients with high LDL-C.


Our results indicate that higher levels of anti-EBV EBNA-1 antibodies are associated with higher LDL-C and TC levels. Anti-CMV positive individuals have greater disease progression in the presence of higher HDL-C levels. Individuals with higher levels of anti-EBV VCA antibodies have greater progression on MRI measures in the presence of higher LDL-C.


Cholesterol; Clinically isolated syndromes; Environmental factor interactions; Epstein–Barr virus; Lipid; Multiple sclerosis

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