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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Neurol. | doi: 10.3389/fneur.2019.01241

Quantifications of CSF Apoptotic Bodies Do Not Provide Clinical Value in Multiple Sclerosis

 Ruturaj Masvekar1, Jordan Mizrahi1, John Park1 and  Bibiana Bielekova1*
  • 1National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), United States

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system (CNS) that leads to the death of neurons and oligodendrocytes, which cannot be measured in living subjects.
Physiological cellular death, otherwise known as apoptosis, progresses through a series of stages which culminates in the discharge of cellular contents into vesicles known as apoptotic bodies (ABs) or apoptosomes. These ABs can be detected in bodily fluids as Annexin-V-positive vesicles of 0.5-4.0 µm in size. In addition, the origin of these ABs might be detected by staining for cell-specific surface markers. Thus, we investigated whether quantifications of the total and CNS cell-specific ABs in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients provided any clinical value in MS.
Extracellular vesicles, from CSF of 64 prospectively-acquired subjects, were collected in a blinded fashion using ultra-centrifugation. ABs were detected by flow cytometry using bead-enabled size-gating and Annexin-V-staining. The origin of these ABs was further classified by staining the vesicles for cell-specific surface markers. Upon unblinding, we evaluated the differences between diagnostic categories and correlations with clinical measures.
There were no statistically significant differences in the numbers of total or any cell-specific ABs across different disease diagnostic subgroups and no significant correlations with any of the tested clinical measures of CNS tissue destruction, disability, MS activity and severity (i.e., rates of disability accumulation). Overlap of cell surface markers suggests inability to reliably determine origin of ABs using antibody-based flow cytometry. These negative data suggest that CNS cells in MS either die by non-apoptotic mechanisms or die in frequencies indistinguishable by current assays from apoptosis of other cells, such as immune cells performing immunosurveillance in healthy conditions.

Keywords: Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebrospinal Fluid, Apoptotic bodies, clinical outcomes, Flow Cytometry, Cell surface markers

Received: 06 Sep 2019; Accepted: 07 Nov 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Masvekar, Mizrahi, Park and Bielekova. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Bibiana Bielekova, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), Bethesda, MD 20892-9807, Maryland, United States,