Mameli, Giuseppe and Cocco, Eleonora and Frau, Jessica and Arru, Giannina and Caggiu, Elisa and Marrosu, Maria Giovanna and Sechi, Leonardo Antonio (2016) Serum BAFF levels, methypredsinolone therapy, Epstein-Barr virus and Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis infection in Multiple Sclerosis patients. Scientific reports, Vol. 6 (29268). eISSN 2045-2322. Article.
Elevated B lymphocyte activating factor BAFF levels have been reported in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients; moreover, disease-modifying treatments (DMT) have shown to influence blood BAFF levels in MS patients, although the significance of these changes is still controversial. In addition, BAFF levels were reported increased during infectious diseases. In our study, we wanted to investigate on the serum BAFF concentrations correlated to the antibody response against Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and their human homologous epitopes in MS and in patients affected with other neurological diseases (OND), divided in Inflammatory Neurological Diseases (IND), Non Inflammatory Neurological Diseases (NIND) and Undetermined Neurological Diseases (UND), in comparison to healthy controls (HCs). Our results confirmed a statistically significant high BAFF levels in MS and IND patients in comparison to HCs but not NIND and UND patients. Interestingly, BAFF levels were inversely proportional to antibodies level against EBV and MAP peptides and the BAFF levels significantly decreased in MS patients after methylprednisolone therapy. These results implicate that lower circulating BAFF concentrations were present in MS patients with humoral response against MAP and EBV. In conclusion MS patients with no IgGs against EBV and MAP may support the hypothesis that elevated blood BAFF levels could be associated with a more stable disease.
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