Advanced oxidative protein products may play a role in the pathophysiology of multiple sclerosis (MS) and could be a new target for drug development, according to a literature review and meta-analysis published in Molecular Neurobiology.
The exact pathophysiologic features of MS are not fully understood, but it is known that increased reactive oxygen species may lead to the degeneration of myelin and oligodendrocytes. Reactive oxygen species drive the production of new compounds, including advanced oxidative protein products; these are biomarkers of oxidative stress and mediators of inflammation.
“Considering that [advanced oxidative protein product] accumulation produces [reactive oxygen species] and induces neuronal apoptosis, these may represent a new target for drug development to MS treatment and a possible biomarker to monitor the severity of the disease,” the researchers wrote.
To investigate whether there is an alteration in the levels of advanced oxidative protein products in patients with MS and their possible involvement in disability, a team of researchers led by Gabriela Trevisan, PhD, of the Federal University of Santa Maria in Brazil performed a systematic review of the literature and meta-analysis. The second aim was to analyze whether any MS treatments could modify the levels of advanced oxidative protein products.
They identified 327 articles containing the terms “MS” and “advanced oxidative protein products,” but they included only the articles that evaluated the levels of advanced oxidative protein products in the plasma of patients with MS and compared them to those of healthy controls (13 articles in total).
They found that the levels of advanced oxidative protein products were increased in the plasma of patients with MS who were not treated. Moreover, the increase in disability status was associated with the accumulation of advanced oxidative protein products in these patients. After treatment, levels of advanced oxidative protein products were reduced.
The authors concluded advanced oxidative protein products “seem to play a role in MS pathophysiology and may become a new target for drug development and help MS diagnosis or treatment follow-up.” They recommended that more research is done to elucidate the involvement of advanced oxidative protein products in MS disability.
Rodrigues P, Bochi GV, Trevisan G. Advanced oxidative protein products role in multiple sclerosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Mol Neurobiol. Published online August 15, 2021. doi:10.1007/s12035-021-02493-9