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Sulfatide in health and disease. The evaluation of sulfatide in cerebrospinal fluid as a possible biomarker for neurodegeneration

Blomqvist, M; Zetterberg, H; Blennow, K; Månsson, J-E; (2021) Sulfatide in health and disease. The evaluation of sulfatide in cerebrospinal fluid as a possible biomarker for neurodegeneration. Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience , 116 , Article 103670. 10.1016/j.mcn.2021.103670. Green open access

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Abstract

Sulfatide (3-O-sulfogalactosylceramide, SM4) is a glycosphingolipid, highly multifunctional and particularly enriched in the myelin sheath of neurons. The role of sulfatide has been implicated in various biological fields such as the nervous system, immune system, host-pathogen recognition and infection, beta cell function and haemostasis/thrombosis. Thus, alterations in sulfatide metabolism and production are associated with several human diseases such as neurological and immunological disorders and cancers. The unique lipid-rich composition of myelin reflects the importance of lipids in this specific membrane structure. Sulfatide has been shown to be involved in the regulation of oligodendrocyte differentiation and in the maintenance of the myelin sheath by influencing membrane dynamics involving sorting and lateral assembly of myelin proteins as well as ion channels. Sulfatide is furthermore essential for proper formation of the axo-glial junctions at the paranode together with axonal glycosphingolipids. Alterations in sulfatide metabolism are suggested to contribute to myelin deterioration as well as synaptic dysfunction, neurological decline and inflammation observed in different conditions associated with myelin pathology (mouse models and human disorders). Body fluid biomarkers are of importance for clinical diagnostics as well as for patient stratification in clinical trials and treatment monitoring. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is commonly used as an indirect measure of brain metabolism and analysis of CSF sulfatide might provide information regarding whether the lipid disruption observed in neurodegenerative disorders is reflected in this body fluid. In this review, we evaluate the diagnostic utility of CSF sulfatide as a biomarker for neurodegenerative disorders associated with dysmyelination/demyelination by summarising the current literature on this topic. We can conclude that neither CSF sulfatide levels nor individual sulfatide species consistently reflect the lipid disruption observed in many of the demyelinating disorders. One exception is the lysosomal storage disorder metachromatic leukodystrophy, possibly due to the genetically determined accumulation of non-metabolised sulfatide. We also discuss possible explanations as to why myelin pathology in brain tissue is poorly reflected by the CSF sulfatide concentration. The previous suggestion that CSF sulfatide is a marker of myelin damage has thereby been challenged by more recent studies using more sophisticated laboratory techniques for sulfatide analysis as well as improved sample selection criteria due to increased knowledge on disease pathology.

Type: Article
Title: Sulfatide in health and disease. The evaluation of sulfatide in cerebrospinal fluid as a possible biomarker for neurodegeneration
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.mcn.2021.103670
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mcn.2021.103670
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Biomarker, Cerebrospinal fluid, Myelin, Neurodegeneration, Sulfatide, White matter disorders
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Neurodegenerative Diseases
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10135692
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