Cell Mol Neurobiol. 2021 Feb 24. doi: 10.1007/s10571-021-01059-6. Online ahead of print.
Antibodies and oxidative stress are hallmarks of multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions. We aimed to clarify the relation between them, their role in MS patients and to investigate their specificity, comparing MS with classical neurodegenerative diseases (ND). Brain samples from 14 MS cases, 6 with ND and 9 controls (without neurological diseases). Immunohistochemistry assays were used to detect oxidized lipids (EO6), IgG and IgM, oligodendrocytes (Olig2), axons (NF, neurofilament) and cellular (TUNEL) and axonal damage (APP, amyloid precursor protein). We did not observe EO6 in controls. All samples from MS patients showed EO6 in oligodendrocytes and axons within lesions. We did not detect co-localization between EO6 and antibodies. Neither did we between EO6 and TUNEL or APP. 94.4% of TUNEL-positive cells in normal appearing white matter were also stained for IgG and 75.5% for IgM. IgM, but not IgG, co-localized with APP. EO6 was associated with axonal damage in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We did not observe association between antibodies and cellular or axonal damage in ND patients. MS patients showed a higher number of B cells and plasma cells in the lesions and meninges than controls. The number of B cells and plasma cells was associated with the presence of antibodies and with the activity of the lesions. We observed a main role of B lymphocytes in the development of MS lesions. Antibodies contribute to the oligodendrocyte and axonal damage in MS. Oxidative stress was associated with axonal damage in ALS.