Biomarkers in multiple sclerosis

Clin Immunol. 2015 Nov;161(1):51-8. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2015.06.015. Epub 2015 Jul 2.


Substantial effort has been made over the last six decades to identify biomarkers for multiple sclerosis that can improve disease diagnosis, predict disease progression, and improve clinical outcomes. However, to date, few of these findings have proven clinically useful. In this review, we address the current state of MS biomarker research. We start by discussing biomarkers currently in clinical use including Oligoclonal bands, MRI, and JC viral titers. We go on to discuss other potential biomarkers from MS serum and cerebrospinal fluid including Markers of neurodegeneration including neurofilament and GFAP, the monocyte macrophage marker CD163, the glial activation marker YKL-40, the B cell chemoattractant CXCL13, miRNA and mRNA, myelin reactive t cells, Kir4.1 antibodies, osteopontin, and microbiome associated lipopeptides. Finally, we discuss the current state of MS genetic studies and how genetics may offer simple, reliable testing for MS susceptibility and progression.

Keywords: Biomarkers; Multiple sclerosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Viral / analysis
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology
  • Biomarkers / analysis*
  • Biomarkers / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / pathology
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • JC Virus / immunology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • Multiple Sclerosis / diagnosis*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / genetics
  • Multiple Sclerosis / immunology*
  • Radiography
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Biomarkers
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • MicroRNAs