Metabolomics detects clinically silent neuroinflammatory lesions earlier than neurofilament-light chain in a focal multiple sclerosis animal model.
Yeo T., Bayuangga H., Augusto-Oliveira M., Sealey M., Claridge TDW., Tanner R., Leppert D., Palace J., Kuhle J., Probert F., Anthony DC.
BACKGROUND: Despite widespread searches, there are currently no validated biofluid markers for the detection of subclinical neuroinflammation in multiple sclerosis (MS). The dynamic nature of human metabolism in response to changes in homeostasis, as measured by metabolomics, may allow early identification of clinically silent neuroinflammation. Using the delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) MS rat model, we investigated the serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) metabolomics profiles and neurofilament-light chain (NfL) levels, as a putative marker of neuroaxonal damage, arising from focal, clinically silent neuroinflammatory brain lesions and their discriminatory abilities to distinguish DTH animals from controls. METHODS: 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy metabolomics and NfL measurements were performed on serum and CSF at days 12, 28 and 60 after DTH lesion initiation. Supervised multivariate analyses were used to determine metabolomics differences between DTH animals and controls. Immunohistochemistry was used to assess the extent of neuroinflammation and tissue damage. RESULTS: Serum and CSF metabolomics perturbations were detectable in DTH animals (vs. controls) at all time points, with the greatest change occurring at the earliest time point (day 12) when the neuroinflammatory response was most intense (mean predictive accuracy [SD]-serum: 80.6 [10.7]%, p