Endothelial cell dysfunction may contribute to the progress of multiple sclerosis (MS) but directly measuring the extent of damage to this layer of cells has been difficult. In May Neurology, Alireza Minagar and colleagues from the University of Miami report that the level of endothelial cells release microparticles (EMP) expressing CD31 in the blood is a potential marker for endothelial damage and progression of MS.

Minagar et al developed a flow cytometric assay and measured levels of two classes of EMP released during apoptosis (CD31+ and CD51+) in the blood of 50 MS patients and in a control group of 48 healthy people. The level of CD31+ EMP was 2.85-fold higher in patients with active MS than in the healthy patients, returning to near control value during remission. But, CD51+ EMP remained elevated in both exacerbation and remission (Neurology 2001, 56:1319-1324).

This would indicate that CD31+ EMP...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?