No link between cholesterol compound and multiple sclerosis: Study

Posted By: Anita Nair
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Washington, Dec 16 (ANI): Contradicting a previous study, researchers have found that compounds called oxysterols are not present in any significant amount in multiple sclerosis patients.

An earlier study published in the Nature Immunology had shown that some of these cholesterol metabolites were associated with MS and could be used as diagnostic tools in the clinic.

The study reported that two oxysterols, known as 15HC and 15KC, were increased more than three-fold in the blood of MS patients, and that these oxysterols could be associated with the development of the disease.

But now, Ingemar Bjorkhem and colleagues at Sweden's Karolinska Institutet performed their own analysis of blood samples using a combination of gas chromatography and mass spectrometry, which vaporizes the samples and separates the component parts to allow for a thorough separation of all molecules.

The concluded that they identified 15HC and 15KC levels even at low concentrations.

Despite numerous efforts, though, Bjorkhem and colleagues failed to find any meaningful 15HC or 15KC oxysterol levels in blood of healthy individuals or MS patients.

To ensure the oxysterols were not being lost or metabolized somewhere along the experimental chain, they also ran blood samples with pre-loaded oxysterols and recovered almost 100 percent of the loaded amount, demonstrating that the protocol was not the problem.

The findings appeared in the Journal of Lipid Research. (ANI)

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