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Mult Scler. 2014 Oct;20(11):1425-31. doi: 10.1177/1352458514533400. Epub 2014 May 19.

Glutathione in multiple sclerosis: more than just an antioxidant?

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Vrije Universiteit (VU) University Medical Center Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Vrije Universiteit (VU) University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Oxidative stress has been strongly implicated in both the inflammatory and neurodegenerative pathological mechanisms in multiple sclerosis (MS). In response to oxidative stress, cells increase and activate their cellular antioxidant mechanisms. Glutathione (GSH) is the major antioxidant in the brain, and as such plays a pivotal role in the detoxification of reactive oxidants. Previous research has shown that GSH homeostasis is altered in MS. In this review, we provide a comprehensive overview on GSH metabolism in brain cells, with a focus on its involvement in MS. The potential of GSH as an in vivo biomarker in MS is discussed, along with a short overview of improvements in imaging methods that allow non-invasive quantification of GSH in the brain. These methods might be instrumental in providing real-time measures of GSH, allowing the assessment of the oxidative state in MS patients and the monitoring of disease progression. Finally, the therapeutic potential of GSH in MS is discussed.


Antioxidant; biomarker; diagnostics; glutathione; imaging; metabolism; multiple sclerosis; oxidative stress; therapeutics

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