A Blood Test for the Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis

Int J Mol Sci. 2024 Jan 30;25(3):1696. doi: 10.3390/ijms25031696.


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune chronic disease characterized by inflammation and demyelination of the central nervous system (CNS). Despite numerous studies conducted, valid biomarkers enabling a definitive diagnosis of MS are not yet available. The aim of our study was to identify a marker from a blood sample to ease the diagnosis of MS. In this study, since there is evidence connecting the serotonin pathway to MS, we used an ELISA (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay) to detect serum MS-specific auto-antibodies (auto-Ab) against the extracellular loop 1 (ECL-1) of the 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) receptor subtype 2A (5-HT2A). We utilized an ELISA format employing poly-D-lysine as a pre-coating agent. The binding of 208 serum samples from controls, both healthy and pathological, and of 104 serum samples from relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) patients was tested. We observed that the serum-binding activity in control cohort sera, including those with autoimmune and neurological diseases, was ten times lower compared to the RRMS patient cohort (p = 1.2 × 10-47), with a sensitivity and a specificity of 98% and 100%, respectively. These results show that in the serum of patients with MS there are auto-Ab against the serotonin receptor type 2A which can be successfully used in the diagnosis of MS due to their high sensitivity and specificity.

Keywords: 5-HT2A receptor; ELISA assay; blood serum; diagnosis; multiple sclerosis; peptides.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies
  • Biomarkers
  • Central Nervous System
  • Hematologic Tests
  • Humans
  • Multiple Sclerosis*
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting*
  • Polylysine*


  • poly-d-lysine
  • Antibodies
  • Biomarkers
  • Polylysine