Lipids and lipid-reactive antibodies as biomarkers for multiple sclerosis

J Neuroimmunol. 2012 Jul 15;248(1-2):53-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2012.01.002. Epub 2012 May 12.


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that targets the central nervous system (CNS). MS initially follows a relapsing-remitting course (RRMS) in which acute attacks are followed by a complete recovery. Eventually, 65% of the RRMS patients go on to develop secondary progressive MS (SPMS), characterized by the progressive and irreversible accumulation of neurological disability. It has been proposed that the transition from RRMS to SPMS results from changes in the nature of the inflammatory response and the progressive accumulation of neurodegeneration. To date, however, there is no reliable method to monitor the activity of the different immune and neurodegenerative processes that contribute to MS pathology. Thus, there is a need for biomarkers useful for the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of MS patients. In this review, we discuss the potential use of lipids and the immune response against them as biomarkers of inflammation and neurodegeneration for MS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen-Antibody Reactions / immunology
  • Autoantibodies / analysis*
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Neurological / trends
  • Humans
  • Membrane Lipids / immunology*
  • Membrane Lipids / metabolism
  • Multiple Sclerosis / diagnosis*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / immunology*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / metabolism


  • Autoantibodies
  • Biomarkers
  • Membrane Lipids