- Neurofilament light chain and oligoclonal bands are prognostic biomarkers in radiologically isolated syndrome. [Journal Article]
- BBrain 2018 Feb 14
- The prognostic role of cerebrospinal fluid molecular biomarkers determined in early pathogenic stages of multiple sclerosis has yet to be defined. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the pr...
The prognostic role of cerebrospinal fluid molecular biomarkers determined in early pathogenic stages of multiple sclerosis has yet to be defined. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the prognostic value of chitinase 3 like 1 (CHI3L1), neurofilament light chain, and oligoclonal bands for conversion to clinically isolated syndrome and to multiple sclerosis in 75 patients with radiologically isolated syndrome. Cerebrospinal fluid levels of CHI3L1 and neurofilament light chain were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Uni- and multivariable Cox regression models including as covariates age at diagnosis of radiologically isolated syndrome, number of brain lesions, sex and treatment were used to investigate associations between cerebrospinal fluid CHI3L1 and neurofilament light chain levels and time to conversion to clinically isolated syndrome and multiple sclerosis. Neurofilament light chain levels and oligoclonal bands were independent risk factors for the development of clinically isolated syndrome (hazard ratio = 1.02, P = 0.019, and hazard ratio = 14.7, P = 0.012, respectively) and multiple sclerosis (hazard ratio = 1.03, P = 0.003, and hazard ratio = 8.9, P = 0.046, respectively). The best cut-off to classify cerebrospinal fluid neurofilament light chain levels into high and low was 619 ng/l, and high neurofilament light chain levels were associated with a trend to shorter time to clinically isolated syndrome (P = 0.079) and significant shorter time to multiple sclerosis (P = 0.017). Similarly, patients with radiologically isolated syndrome presenting positive oligoclonal bands converted faster to clinically isolated syndrome and multiple sclerosis (P = 0.005 and P = 0.008, respectively). The effects of high neurofilament light chain levels shortening time to clinically isolated syndrome and multiple sclerosis were more pronounced in radiologically isolated syndrome patients with ≥37 years compared to younger patients. Cerebrospinal fluid CHI3L1 levels did not influence conversion to clinically isolated syndrome and multiple sclerosis in radiologically isolated syndrome patients. Overall, these findings suggest that cerebrospinal neurofilament light chain levels and oligoclonal bands are independent predictors of clinical conversion in patients with radiologically isolated syndrome. The association with a faster development of multiple sclerosis reinforces the importance of cerebrospinal fluid analysis in patients with radiologically isolated syndrome.
- Condition-dependent generation of aquaporin-4 antibodies from circulating B cells in neuromyelitis optica. [Journal Article]
- BBrain 2018 Feb 13
- Autoantibodies to aquaporin-4 (AQP4) are pathogenic in neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD). However, it is not known which B cells are the major contributors to circulating AQP4 antibodies...
Autoantibodies to aquaporin-4 (AQP4) are pathogenic in neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD). However, it is not known which B cells are the major contributors to circulating AQP4 antibodies nor which conditions promote their generation. Our experiments showed CD19+CD27++CD38++ circulating ex vivo antibody-secreting cells did not produce AQP4 antibodies under several culture conditions. To question whether other cells in circulation were capable of AQP4 antibody production, B cells were differentiated into antibody-secreting cells in vitro. Unfractionated peripheral blood mononuclear cells, isolated from 12 patients with NMOSD and a wide range of serum AQP4 antibody levels (91-26 610 units), were cultured with factors that mimicked established associations of NMOSD including T cell help, concurrent infections and cytokines reported to be elevated in NMOSD. Overall, the in vitro generation of CD19+CD27++CD38++ cells across several culture conditions correlated closely with the total IgG secreted (P < 0.0001, r = 0.71), but not the amount of AQP4 antibody. AQP4 antibody production was enhanced by CD40-ligand (P = 0.005), and by interleukin-2 plus toll-like receptor stimulation versus interleukin-21-predominant conditions (P < 0.0001), and did not require antigen. Across NMOSD patients, this in vitro generation of AQP4 antibodies correlated well with serum AQP4 antibody levels (P = 0.0023, r = 0.81). To understand how early within B cell lineages this AQP4 specificity was generated, purified B cell subsets were activated under these optimized conditions. Naïve pre-germinal centre B cells (CD19+CD27-IgD+) differentiated to secrete AQP4 antibodies as frequently as post-germinal centre cells (CD19+CD27+). Taken together, these human cell-culture experiments demonstrate that preformed B cells, rather than ex vivo circulating antibody-secreting cells, possess AQP4 reactivity. Their differentiation and AQP4 antibody secretion is preferentially driven by select cytokines and these cells may make the dominant contribution to serum AQP4 antibodies. Furthermore, as AQP4-specific B cells can derive from likely autoreactive naïve populations an early, pre-germinal centre loss of immunological tolerance appears present in some patients with NMOSD. This study has implications for understanding mechanisms of disease perpetuation and for rational choice of immunotherapies in NMOSD. Furthermore, the in vitro model presents an opportunity to apply condition-specific approaches to patients with NMOSD and may be a paradigm to study other antibody-mediated diseases.awy010media15732448284001.
- Reply: The recurrent mutation in TMEM106B also causes hypomyelinating leukodystrophy in China and is a CpG hotspot. [Journal Article]
- BBrain 2018 Feb 12
- Therapeutic efficacy of microtube-embedded chondroitinase ABC in a canine clinical model of spinal cord injury. [Journal Article]
- BBrain 2018 Feb 09
- Many hundreds of thousands of people around the world are living with the long-term consequences of spinal cord injury and they need effective new therapies. Laboratory research in experimental anima...
Many hundreds of thousands of people around the world are living with the long-term consequences of spinal cord injury and they need effective new therapies. Laboratory research in experimental animals has identified a large number of potentially translatable interventions but transition to the clinic is not straightforward. Further evidence of efficacy in more clinically-relevant lesions is required to gain sufficient confidence to commence human clinical trials. Of the many therapeutic candidates currently available, intraspinally applied chondroitinase ABC has particularly well documented efficacy in experimental animals. In this study we measured the effects of this intervention in a double-blinded randomized controlled trial in a cohort of dogs with naturally-occurring severe chronic spinal cord injuries that model the condition in humans. First, we collected baseline data on a series of outcomes: forelimb-hindlimb coordination (the prespecified primary outcome measure), skin sensitivity along the back, somatosensory evoked and transcranial magnetic motor evoked potentials and cystometry in 60 dogs with thoracolumbar lesions. Dogs were then randomized 1:1 to receive intraspinal injections of heat-stabilized, lipid microtube-embedded chondroitinase ABC or sham injections consisting of needle puncture of the skin. Outcome data were measured at 1, 3 and 6 months after intervention; skin sensitivity was also measured 24 h after injection (or sham). Forelimb-hindlimb coordination was affected by neither time nor chondroitinase treatment alone but there was a significant interaction between these variables such that coordination between forelimb and hindlimb stepping improved during the 6-month follow-up period in the chondroitinase-treated animals by a mean of 23%, but did not change in controls. Three dogs (10%) in the chondroitinase group also recovered the ability to ambulate without assistance. Sensitivity of the dorsal skin increased at 24 h after intervention in both groups but subsequently decreased to normal levels. Cystometry identified a non-significant improvement of bladder compliance at 1 month in the chondroitinase-injected dogs but this did not persist. There were no overall differences between groups in detection of sensory evoked potentials. Our results strongly support a beneficial effect of intraspinal injection of chondroitinase ABC on spinal cord function in this highly clinically-relevant model of chronic severe spinal cord injury. There was no evidence of long-term adverse effects associated with this intervention. We therefore conclude that this study provides strong evidence in support of initiation of clinical trials of chondroitinase ABC in humans with chronic spinal cord injury.
- Reply: Updated frequency analysis of spinocerebellar ataxia in China. [Journal Article]
- BBrain 2018 Feb 12
- Loss of function mutations in EPHB4 are responsible for vein of Galen aneurysmal malformation. [Journal Article]
- BBrain 2018 Feb 09
- Vein of Galen aneurysmal malformation is a congenital anomaly of the cerebral vasculature representing 30% of all paediatric vascular malformations. We conducted whole exome sequencing in 19 unrelate...
Vein of Galen aneurysmal malformation is a congenital anomaly of the cerebral vasculature representing 30% of all paediatric vascular malformations. We conducted whole exome sequencing in 19 unrelated patients presenting this malformation and subsequently screened candidate genes in a cohort of 32 additional patients using either targeted exome or Sanger sequencing. In a cohort of 51 patients, we found five affected individuals with heterozygous mutations in EPHB4 including de novo frameshift (p.His191Alafs*32) or inherited deleterious splice or missense mutations predicted to be pathogenic by in silico tools. Knockdown of ephb4 in zebrafish embryos leads to specific anomalies of dorsal cranial vessels including the dorsal longitudinal vein, which is the orthologue of the median prosencephalic vein and the embryonic precursor of the vein of Galen. This model allowed us to investigate EPHB4 loss-of-function mutations in this disease by the ability to rescue the brain vascular defect in knockdown zebrafish co-injected with wild-type, but not truncated EPHB4, mimicking the p.His191Alafs mutation. Our data showed that in both species, loss of function mutations of EPHB4 result in specific and similar brain vascular development anomalies. Recently, EPHB4 germline mutations have been reported in non-immune hydrops fetalis and in cutaneous capillary malformation-arteriovenous malformation. Here, we show that EPHB4 mutations are also responsible for vein of Galen aneurysmal malformation, indicating that heterozygous germline mutations of EPHB4 result in a large clinical spectrum. The identification of EPHB4 pathogenic mutations in patients presenting capillary malformation or vein of Galen aneurysmal malformation should lead to careful follow-up of pregnancy of carriers for early detection of anomaly of the cerebral vasculature in order to propose optimal neonatal care. Endovascular embolization indeed greatly improved the prognosis of patients.
- The recurrent mutation in TMEM106B also causes hypomyelinating leukodystrophy in China and is a CpG hot spot. [Journal Article]
- BBrain 2018 Feb 12
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- The functional network signature of heterogeneity in freezing of gait. [Journal Article]
- BBrain 2018 Feb 09
- Freezing of gait is a complex, heterogeneous, and highly variable phenomenon whose pathophysiology and neural signature remains enigmatic. Evidence suggests that freezing is associated with impairmen...
Freezing of gait is a complex, heterogeneous, and highly variable phenomenon whose pathophysiology and neural signature remains enigmatic. Evidence suggests that freezing is associated with impairments across cognitive, motor and affective domains; however, most research to date has focused on investigating one axis of freezing of gait in isolation. This has led to inconsistent findings and a range of different pathophysiological models of freezing of gait, due in large part to the tendency for studies to investigate freezing of gait as a homogeneous entity. To investigate the neural mechanisms of this heterogeneity, we used an established virtual reality paradigm to elicit freezing behaviour in 41 Parkinson's disease patients with freezing of gait and examined individual differences in the component processes (i.e. cognitive, motor and affective function) that underlie freezing of gait in conjunction with task-based functional MRI. First, we combined three unique components of the freezing phenotype: impaired set-shifting ability, step time variability, and self-reported anxiety and depression in a principal components analysis to estimate the severity of freezing behaviour with a multivariate approach. By combining these measures, we were then able to interrogate the pattern of task-based functional connectivity associated with freezing (compared to normal foot tapping) in a sub-cohort of 20 participants who experienced sufficient amounts of freezing during task functional MRI. Specifically, we used the first principal component from our behavioural analysis to classify patterns of functional connectivity into those that were associated with: (i) increased severity; (ii) increased compensation; or (iii) those that were independent of freezing severity. Coupling between the cognitive and limbic networks was associated with 'worse freezing severity', whereas anti-coupling between the putamen and the cognitive and limbic networks was related to 'increased compensation'. Additionally, anti-coupling between cognitive cortical regions and the caudate nucleus were 'independent of freezing severity' and thus may represent common neural underpinnings of freezing that are unaffected by heterogenous factors. Finally, we related these connectivity patterns to each of the individual components (cognitive, motor, affective) in turn, thus exposing latent heterogeneity in the freezing phenotype, while also identifying critical functional network signatures that may represent potential targets for novel therapeutic intervention. In conclusion, our findings provide confirmatory evidence for systems-level impairments in the pathophysiology of freezing of gait and further advance our understanding of the whole-brain deficits that mediate symptom expression in Parkinson's disease.