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Salut Alba-Arbalat, Magi Andorra, Bernardo Sanchez-Dalmau, Anna Camos-Carreras, Marina Dotti-Boada, Irene Pulido-Valdeolivas, Sara Llufriu, Yolanda Blanco, Maria Sepulveda, Albert Saiz, Oscar Batet, Iker Bilbao, Iratxe Torre, Ivan Amat-Roldan, Elena H. Martinez-Lapiscina, Pablo Villoslada; In Vivo Molecular Changes in the Retina of Patients With Multiple Sclerosis. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2021;62(6):11. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.62.6.11.
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Raman spectroscopy allows molecular changes to be quantified in vivo from the tissues like the retina. Here we aimed to assess the metabolic changes in the retina of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).
We built a Raman spectroscopy prototype by connecting a scanning laser ophthalmoscope to a spectrophotometer. We defined the spectra of 10 molecules participating on energy supply, axon biology, or synaptic damage, which have been shown to be altered in the brain of patients with MS: cytochrome C, flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD), nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH), N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA), excitotoxicity, glutamate, amyloid β (Aβ), τ and α-synuclein (SNCA), phosphatidyl-ethanolamine, and phosphatidyl-choline. We studied these molecules in a prospective cohort of patients with MS, either in the chronic phase or during relapses of acute optic neuritis (AON).
Significant changes to all these molecules were associated with age in healthy individuals. There was a significant decrease in NADH and a trend toward a decrease in NAA in patients with MS, as well as an increase in Aβ compared with healthy controls. Moreover, NADH and FAD increased over time in a longitudinal analysis of patients with MS, whereas Aβ diminished. In patients with acute retinal inflammation due to AON, there was a significant increase in FAD and a decrease in SNCA in the affected retina. Moreover, glutamate levels increased in the affected eyes after a 6-month follow-up.
Alterations of molecules related to axonal degeneration are observed during neuroinflammation and show dynamic changes over time, suggesting progressive neurodegeneration.
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