Multiple sclerosis has a distinct lipid signature in plasma and cerebrospinal fluid

ABSTRACT The diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) has changed over the last decade, but remains a composite of clinical assessment and magnetic resonance imaging to prove dissemination of lesions in time and space. The intrathecal synthesis of immunoglobulin may be a nonspecific marker and there are no plasma biomarkers that are useful in the diagnosis of MS, presenting additional challenges to their early detection. Methods We performed a preliminary untargeted qualitative lipidomics mass spectrometry analysis, comparing cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and plasma samples from patients with MS, other inflammatory neurological diseases and idiopathic intracranial hypertension. Results Lipid identification revealed that fatty acids and sphingolipids were the most abundant classes of lipids in the CSF and that glycerolipids and fatty acids were the main class of lipids in the plasma of patients with MS. The area under the curve was 0.995 (0.912–1) and 0.78 (0.583–0.917), respectively. The permutation test indicated that this ion combination was useful for distinguishing MS from other inflammatory diseases (p < 0.001 and 0.055, respectively). Conclusion This study concluded that the CSF and plasma from patients with MS bear a unique lipid signature that can be useful as a diagnostic biomarker.