ABSTRACT: Glatiramer acetate (GA) in multiple sclerosis acts through the induction of GA-specific T-helper 2 cells. Nevertheless, the phenomenon is not universal in patients, explaining individual differences in clinical response.
The objective of this article was to categorize GA-treated patients.
An enhanced quantitative PCR assay was used for measuring ex-vivo GA-induced IFNγ and IL4 mRNA responses in mononuclear cells from 23 healthy donors, 27 untreated patients, 33 short-term (≤6 months) and 77 long-term (>6 months) GA-treated patients. Thresholds for IFNγ and IL4 transcriptional response were calculated by ROC analysis and long-term treated patients were compared in terms of prognostic stratification.
Thresholds for IFNγ and IL4 transcriptional response were calculated at 5.36 and 1.41 relative expression (RE). Finally, 67% of long-term treated patients scored above both response thresholds. These patients had a higher proportion of relapse-free subjects (74% vs 40% when compare to patients who scored below both thresholds) and a significantly better relapse-free survival rate (p=0.006; CI 0.29-0.75). The negative predictive value to predict adverse clinical outcome was 79% (CI 0.63-0.90), meaning that by a positive response, there is a 79% chance that the patient will not experience a negative outcome at 3 years.
Our enhanced quantitative PCR assay produced clinically significant results for GA-treated patients. As such, if patients have a positive response, it means they have less chance of a relapse, while patients with a negative response have a greater probability of a worse outcome.
Multiple Sclerosis 05/2012; 18(10):1484-92. · 4.26 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is a severely disabling autoimmune disorder of the central nervous system, which predominantly affects the optic nerves and spinal cord. In a majority of cases, NMO is associated with antibodies to aquaporin-4 (AQP4) (termed NMO-IgG).
In this study, we evaluated a new multiparametric indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) assay for NMO serology.
Sera from 20 patients with NMO, 41 patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), 30 healthy subjects, and a commercial anti-AQP4 IgG antibody were tested in a commercial composite immunofluorescence assay ("Neurology Mosaic 17"; Euroimmun, Germany), consisting of five different diagnostic substrates (HEK cells transfected with AQP4, non-transfected HEK cells, primate cerebellum, cerebrum, and optic nerve tissue sections).
We identified AQP4 specific and non-specific fluorescence staining patterns and established positivity criteria. Based on these criteria, this kit yielded a high sensitivity (95%) and specificity (100%) for NMO and had a significant positive and negative likelihood ratio (LR+ = ∞, LR- = 0.05). Moreover, a 100% inter- and intra-laboratory reproducibility was found.
The biochip mosaic assay tested in this study is a powerful tool for NMO serology, fast to perform, highly sensitive and specific for NMO, reproducible, and suitable for inter-laboratory standardization as required for multi-centre clinical trials.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(6):e38896. · 4.09 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Pregnancy is associated with reduced activity of multiple sclerosis (MS). However, the biological mechanisms underlying this pregnancy-related decrease in disease activity are poorly understood.
We conducted a genome-wide transcription analysis in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from 12 women (7 MS patients and 5 healthy controls) followed during their pregnancy. Samples were obtained before, during (i.e. at the third, sixth, and ninth month of gestation) and after pregnancy. A validation of the expression profiles has been conducted by using the same samples and an independent group of 25 MS patients and 11 healthy controls. Finally, considering the total group of 32 MS patients, we compared expression profiles of patients relapsing during pregnancy (n = 6) with those of relapse-free patients (n = 26).
Results showed an altered expression of 347 transcripts in non-pregnant MS patients with respect to non-pregnant healthy controls. Complementary changes in expression, occurring during pregnancy, reverted the previous imbalance particularly for seven inflammation-related transcripts, i.e. SOCS2, TNFAIP3, NR4A2, CXCR4, POLR2J, FAM49B, and STAG3L1. Longitudinal analysis showed that the overall deregulation of gene expression reverted to "normal" already within the third month of gestation, while in the post-partum gene expressions rebounded to pre-pregnancy levels. Six (18.7%) of the 32 MS patients had a relapse during pregnancy, mostly in the first trimester. The latter showed delayed expression profiles when compared to relapse-free patients: in these patients expression imbalance was reverted later in the pregnancy, i.e. at sixth month.
Specific changes in expression during pregnancy were associated with a decrease in disease activity assessed by occurrence of relapses during pregnancy. Findings might help in understanding the pathogenesis of MS and may provide basis for the development of novel therapeutic strategies.
PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(1):e8962. · 4.09 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Many multiple sclerosis (MS) patients treated with interferon-beta (IFNbeta) develop anti-IFNbeta antibodies (BAbs), which can interfere with both in vitro and in vivo bioactivity of the injected cytokine. Objective of this study was to correlate these measures. Among the 256 enrolled patients, 11 (4.3%) showed a significant inhibition of the IFNbeta activity in vitro, but no measurable BAbs. As a whole, in vivo bioactivity was inhibited in 9/11 (82%) of these patients. A minority of IFNbeta treated patients have a non-antibody mediated neutralising activity, which competitively inhibits the bioactivity both in vitro and in vivo.
Journal of Neuroimmunology 01/2008; 192(1-2):198-205. · 2.96 Impact Factor