Membrane saturated fatty acids and disease progression in Multiple Sclerosis patients
The risk of developing multiple sclerosis is associated with increased dietary intake of saturated fatty acids. We determined the fatty acid composition within the different phospholipid fractions of red blood and peripheral blood mononuclear cell membranes of 31 patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and 30 healthy control subjects using gas chromatography. Individual saturated fatty acids were correlated with the severity of neurological outcome as measured by the Kurtzke Expanded Disability Status Scale. Significant increases were found in multiple sclerosis peripheral blood mononuclear cell membrane sphingomyelin C14:0 and phosphatidylinositol C22:0. In the peripheral blood mononuclear cell membranes, C22:0 and C24:0 showed positive correlations, while C14:0, C16:0 and C20:0 showed inverse correlations with the Functional System Scores. In conclusion, this study is in accordance with previous studies that have shown an increase in shorter long-chain SATS in MS patients. In addition, this study also showed that higher C14:0 and C16:0 reflected better disease outcome as demonstrated by the inverse correlation with the EDSS and FSS. We have also characterized the specific SATS, that is, long-chain SATS that may increase the risk of developing MS. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.