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Sci Rep. 2017 Aug 10;7(1):7831. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-08314-1.

Sphingomyelin as a myelin biomarker in CSF of acquired demyelinating neuropathies.

Author information

1
Department of Neurosciences, Rehabilitation Ophthalmology, Genetics and Maternal-Infantile Sciences (DINOGMI) and CEBR, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy.
2
Unit of Neurology, IRCCS San Martino University Hospital IST, Genoa, Italy.
3
Department of Drug Discovery and Development, Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Genoa, Italy.
4
Neuroengineering and Bionanotechnology Lab (NBT), Department of Informatics, Bioengineering, Robotics and System Engineering (DIBRIS), University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy.
5
Division of Cardiology, IRCCS University Hospital San Martino, Research Centre of Cardiovascular Biology, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy.
6
Department of Neurosciences, Rehabilitation Ophthalmology, Genetics and Maternal-Infantile Sciences (DINOGMI) and CEBR, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy. lnobbio@neurologia.unige.it.

Abstract

Fast, accurate and reliable methods to quantify the amount of myelin still lack, both in humans and experimental models. The overall objective of the present study was to demonstrate that sphingomyelin (SM) in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients affected by demyelinating neuropathies is a myelin biomarker. We found that SM levels mirror both peripheral myelination during development and small myelin rearrangements in experimental models. As in acquired demyelinating peripheral neuropathies myelin breakdown occurs, SM amount in the CSF of these patients might detect the myelin loss. Indeed, quantification of SM in 262 neurological patients showed a significant increase in patients with peripheral demyelination (p = 3.81 * 10 - 8) compared to subjects affected by non-demyelinating disorders. Interestingly, SM alone was able to distinguish demyelinating from axonal neuropathies and differs from the principal CSF indexes, confirming the novelty of this potential CSF index. In conclusion, SM is a specific and sensitive biomarker to monitor myelin pathology in the CSF of peripheral neuropathies. Most importantly, SM assay is simple, fast, inexpensive, and promising to be used in clinical practice and drug development.

PMID:
28798317
PMCID:
PMC5552737
DOI:
10.1038/s41598-017-08314-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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