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Neutrophil activation as a potential biomarker in multiple sclerosis

CollectionsCollaboration across boundaries : a cross-disciplinary conference (2017)
Title: Neutrophil activation as a potential biomarker in multiple sclerosis
Author(s): Woodberry, Tonia
Date published: 2017
Publisher: Canberra, ACT : NECTAR, The Australian National University
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic neurodegenerative disease of unknown origin which disrupts communication between the brain and body. There is currently no reliable and easy to measure biomarker to diagnose MS or monitor progression. Innate immune cells called neutrophils are reported as primed in MS and have been connected to disease progression. One mechanism of neutrophil activation is to expel DNA and form neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). To better understand neutrophils/NETs in MS we are evaluating methods for their routine clinical assessment. We seek to examine associations between clinical MS relapse or acute demyelination events detected by MRI and measures of neutrophil activation. In whole blood samples collected from MS patients we are measuring neutrophil activation phenotype and production of antimicrobial agents using flow cytometry. NETs are quantified in whole blood smears using microscopy (bright field and fluorescence). Plasma/serum markers of neutrophil activation will be measured using ELISA and LUMINEX. Recruitment of MS patients commenced in October 2017 and is ongoing. Overall this research will contribute towards an improved understanding of the role of neutrophils and NETs in MS and will help determine whether either or both have the potential to be the desperately needed reliable biomarker.


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