NIH Research Festival
Multiple sclerosis is a complex disease mediated by the immune system which causes inflammation, demyelination and neurodegeneration. Outcomes are great when MS is diagnosed and treated early. However, on average the time between symptom onset and diagnosis is two years. This is due to a lack of reliable biomarkers that could make diagnosis, prediction of disease course, and development of drug therapies much easier. Biomarkers of immune cell activation has been the center of biomarker study in MS. Central nervous system specific proteins are also a promising source of biomarkers that could reflect the many disease processes effect the CNS. We are particularly interested in biomarkers present in cerebrospinal fluid of patients with MS as it has direct contact with the brain tissue. To introduce candidates for future CNS-specific biomarker studies we analyzed public available database composed of 22,000 genes and their expression levels in five different CNS cell types (astrocytes, neurons, microglia, endothelial cells, and oligodendrocytes). We compared this to two different databases containing proteins found in CSF of healthy patients to identify proteins expressed by CNS tissue that are also present in CSF. We narrowed our search to those genes that are highly cell-specific, have high expression levels and are present in CSF. Of the approximately 200 genes that fit this criteria, we chose the top of 5 genes for each cell type and present it here as biomarker candidates. These potential candidates can be studied to identify difference in expression levels between MS patients and healthy patients.
Scientific Focus Area: Neuroscience
This page was last updated on Friday, March 26, 2021