Free radical-mediated peroxidation of biological molecules, especially of lipids, is implicated in the pathogenesis of a number of diseases like multiple sclerosis. Low concentration of antioxidant vitamins: beta carotene, retinol, alpha tocopherol and ascorbic acid have been observed in serum or cerebrospinal fluid of multiple sclerosis patients. On the basis of these observations, we studied the potential lipoprotein oxidation and total antioxidant capacity in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis.
Lipoprotein oxidizability for plasma in vitro, serum levels of autoantibodies against oxidized low-density lipoproteins, plasma total homocysteine levels with vitamin B12 and folate, and plasma total antioxidant capacity were measured in twenty four patients with multiple sclerosis and twenty four healthy sex- and age-matched person as control. In multiple sclerosis patients during an attack, a significant increase in both in vitro lipid oxidizability for plasma and in the levels of autoantibodies against oxidized low-density lipoproteins, and a strong decrease in plasma total antioxidant capacity were detected.
Plasma total homocysteine levels were significantly higher in multiple sclerosis patients whose plasma vitamin B12 and folate levels were lower but not statistically significant, than controls. The present study indicates that lipoprotein oxidation may be important factor in the course of multiple sclerosis and in vitro measurements of plasma oxidation kinetics as an indication for lipoprotein oxidation might be useful as an additional tool for the clinical diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.