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Front Immunol. 2017 Jul 17;8:812. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2017.00812. eCollection 2017.

Serum Neuroinflammatory Disease-Induced Central Nervous System Proteins Predict Clinical Onset of Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis.

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Department of Biology, University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, United States.
Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, United States.


There is an urgent need in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients to develop biomarkers and laboratory tests to improve early diagnosis, predict clinical relapses, and optimize treatment responses. In healthy individuals, the transport of proteins across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is tightly regulated, whereas, in MS, central nervous system (CNS) inflammation results in damage to neuronal tissues, disruption of BBB integrity, and potential release of neuroinflammatory disease-induced CNS proteins (NDICPs) into CSF and serum. Therefore, changes in serum NDICP abundance could serve as biomarkers of MS. Here, we sought to determine if changes in serum NDICPs are detectable prior to clinical onset of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) and, therefore, enable prediction of disease onset. Importantly, we show in longitudinal serum specimens from individual mice with EAE that pre-onset expression waves of synapsin-2, glutamine synthetase, enolase-2, and synaptotagmin-1 enable the prediction of clinical disease with high sensitivity and specificity. Moreover, we observed differences in serum NDICPs between active and passive immunization in EAE, suggesting hitherto not appreciated differences for disease induction mechanisms. Our studies provide the first evidence for enabling the prediction of clinical disease using serum NDICPs. The results provide proof-of-concept for the development of high-confidence serum NDICP expression waves and protein biomarker candidates for MS.


T cell; central nervous system protein; experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis; multiple sclerosis; predictive biomarkers; serum expression

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