More MS news articles for June 2002

Anti-NF-L Antibodies Raised in Progressive MS

May Serve as Marker for Axonal Loss, Disease Progression

May 31, 2002
It appears that anti-NF-L antibodies are elevated in progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) and may serve as a marker for axonal loss and disease progression, researchers reported.

Using immunoassay, the investigators measured IgG to NF-L, tubulin and NF-H in matched CSF and serum samples from patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS; n9), primary progressive MS (PPMS; n) and secondary progressive MS (SPMS; n). Patients with other inflammatory (n!) and noninflammatory (n@) neurologic diseases and healthy controls (n) also were assessed.

Immunocytochemistry was performed to assess antibody binding to human brain sections, while isoelectric focusing with immunoblotting was performed to assess oligoclonal anti-NF-L production.

Intrathecal production of anti-NF-L antibodies was significantly elevated in patients with PPMS and SPMS. In contrast, there were no significant differences in CSF levels of antibodies to tubulin or NF-H between the groups.

Immunocytochemistry demonstrated binding of CSF or serum antibodies to axonal or neuronal components in six of the seven RRMS patients, all of the PPMS patients and eight of 10 SPMS patients tested.

Isoelectric focusing demonstrated independent CSF oligoclonal bands reactive with NF-L in six of 13 specimens tested.

Our finding that CSF antibodies to NF-L are elevated in progressive MS suggests that intrathecal production of this antibody may reflect ongoing axonal damage, the authors reported. The differences between the response to NF-L and both NF-H and tubulin as well as antibody binding to axonal or neuronal components suggest some antibody selectivity. It is also possible that these antibodies reactive with NF-L may play a potential pathogenic role in disease progression.

The study is published in the May 14 issue of Neurology.

© FWI 2002