Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system (CNS). Minimally invasive biomarkers of MS are required for disease diagnosis and treatment. Differentially methylated circulating-free DNA (cfDNA) is a useful biomarker for disease diagnosis and prognosis, and may offer to be a viable approach for understanding MS. Here, methylation-specific primers and quantitative real-time PCR were used to study methylation patterns of the myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) gene, which is expressed primarily in myelin-producing oligodendrocytes (ODCs). MOG-DNA was demethylated in O4(+) ODCs in mice and in DNA from human oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) when compared with other cell types. In the cuprizone-fed mouse model of demyelination, ODC derived demethylated MOG cfDNA was increased in serum and was associated with tissue-wide demyelination, demonstrating the utility of demethylated MOG cfDNA as a biomarker of ODC death. Collected sera from patients with active (symptomatic) relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) demonstrated a higher signature of demethylated MOG cfDNA when compared with patients with inactive disease and healthy controls. Taken together, these results offer a minimally invasive approach to measuring ODC death in the blood of MS patients that may be used to monitor disease progression.
Keywords: Biomarker discovery; Circulating free DNA; Cuprizone; Human patients; Oligodendrocyte; Relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.
Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.