Apolipoprotein A1 (Apo-AI) and S100A12 could be factors contributing to the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS), according to the results of a new study published in Scientific Reports.

To assess the potential role of Apo-AI and S100A12 in MS, a team of researchers led by Saam Noroozi, PhD, from the Department of Clinical Biochemistry at Fasa University of Medical Sciences in Iran measured the levels of these proteins in the plasma of 35 untreated patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), 26 first-degree relatives, and 24 healthy controls.

The results showed that S100A12 levels were significantly lower in untreated RRMS cases and first-degree relatives. The levels of Apo-AI were also significantly reduced in the plasma of first-degree relatives of patients with RRMS compared to healthy controls.

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There was no difference in Apo-AI levels between patients with RRMS and first-degree relatives. Also, vitamin D3 levels in the plasma of both patients with RRMS and first-degree relatives were significantly reduced. However,  there was no significant association between the levels of vitamin D and that of S100A12 and Apo-A1.

“Given the role of S100A12 and Apo-A1 in the inflammatory process performed in the first-degree family members of the RRMS patients, which revealed a significant decrease in this group, we concluded that they can be considered as one of the contributing factors in the pathogenesis of MS,” the researchers wrote.

S100A12 is part of the S100/calgranulin protein, which binds to Ca+2 and plays a key role in local inflammatory reactions. Apo-AI is the most abundant component of high-density lipoprotein 19.

Apo-AI works as an anti-inflammatory molecule but its role in the pathogenesis of MS is not fully understood, and more research is necessary before it can be used as a biomarker to predict the disease, the authors said.


Samangooei M, Farjam M, Etemadifar M, et al. Evaluation of S100A12 and Apo-A1 plasma level potency in untreated new relapsing–remitting multiple sclerosis patients and their family members. Sci Rep. 2022;12:2160. doi:10.1038/s41598-022-06322-4