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More MS news articles for July 2003

Decreased levels of the brain specific 24S-hydroxycholesterol and cholesterol precursors in serum of multiple sclerosis patients

Neurosci Lett. 2003 Aug 28;347(3):159-62
Teunissen CE, Dijkstra CD, Polman CH, Hoogervorst EL, von Bergmann K, Lutjohann D.
Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Vrije Universiteit Medical Center, FdG, P.O. Box 7057, 1007 MB, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The serum concentration of 24S-hydroxycholesterol reflecting brain cholesterol turnover may be a possible marker for neurodegeneration and demyelination in multiple sclerosis.

Serum was analyzed for cholesterol precursors and oxysterols in multiple sclerosis patients of different clinical subtypes (n=20 each subtype) and in 37 healthy controls.

Serum 24S-hydroxycholesterol levels were lower in primary progressive and in older relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis patients.

Furthermore, serum levels of lathosterol were decreased in all clinical subtypes.

The results are important given recent interest in statin treatment in multiple sclerosis, which will further decrease the cholesterol precursor and oxysterol levels.

The decreased levels of brain specific and peripheral sterols indicate a role for cholesterol homeostasis in relation to the pathology of multiple sclerosis, at least in the primary progressive clinical subtype.