Identification of biomarkers for diagnosis and progression of MS by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry

Mult Scler. 2011 Jul;17(7):838-50. doi: 10.1177/1352458511399614. Epub 2011 Apr 19.


Introduction: Body fluid biomarkers for clinical subtyping and monitoring of disease progression are of considerable interest in multiple sclerosis (MS). Proteomics tools are optimal for the unbiased simultaneous detection of large series of peptides and proteins.

Objectives: To identify novel candidate biomarkers discriminating patients with MS from patients with other neurological diseases (OND), and for subtyping of relapsing-remitting (RR), secondary progressive (SP) and primary progressive (PP) MS patients using a high-throughput MALDI-TOF-based mass spectrometry method.

Methods: Paired cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and serum samples of 41 RRMS, 30 SPMS, 13 PPMS patients and 25 patients with OND were analysed.

Results: Out of a total of 100 detected peptides in CSF and 200 peptides in serum, 11 peptides were differentially regulated in serum and two in CSF between patients with MS and the OND control group. Eleven peptides were differentially regulated in both serum and CSF between relapse-onset MS and PPMS patients. Lastly, four peptides were differentially regulated in serum and two in CSF between RRMS and SPMS patients. Specific peaks regulated in MS were tentatively identified as fragments of secretogranin III and complement C3. The peak intensity of the CSF peptide ion with m/z value 8607.7 correlated to atrophy (r = -0.27, p < 0.005), black hole volumes (r = 0.31, p < 0.008) and total lesion load (r = 0.34, p < 0.003). A serum peptide with m/z value of 872.4 elevated in SPMS correlated to Expanded Disability Status Scale (r = 0.341, p < 0.005) and atrophy (r = -0.286, p < 0.028).

Conclusions: Using high-throughput body fluid profiling by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, small proteins and peptides were detected as promising candidate biomarkers for diagnosis and disease progression of MS.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Atrophy
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Biomarkers / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Blood Proteins / analysis
  • Brain / pathology
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Proteins / analysis*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Progressive / blood
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Progressive / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Progressive / diagnosis*
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / blood
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / diagnosis*
  • Netherlands
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Proteomics / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization*


  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Proteins
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid Proteins