MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS AND RELATED DISORDERS, vol.52, 2021 (SCI-Expanded)
The interplay between the immune system, sleep dysfunction and cognitive impairment participates in the progression of disability in multiple sclerosis (MS). Our aim was to identify molecular pathways and B cell associated with separate components of MS disability. Benign MS, non-benign MS patients and healthy controls were recruited. Patients underwent polysomnography and cognitive studies. Microarray and bioinformatics analysis performed using peripheral blood mononuclear cell samples identified B cell-associated genes with the most significantly altered expression. Expression levels of these genes were validated by real-time PCR and peripheral blood cell subsets were examined by flow cytometry. Putative correlations among clinical and laboratory parameters were investigated by correlation network analysis. Sleep and cognitive functions were equally impaired in BMS and NBMS. BMS patients showed significantly reduced memory B cell and increased regulatory B cell percentages than NBMS patients. Among genes that were selected by bioinformatics, levels of BLK, BLNK, BANK1, FCRL2, TGFB1 and KCNS3 genes were significantly different among study subgroups. Correlation network analysis showed associations among physical-cognitive disability and sleep dysfunction measures of MS versus expression levels of selected genes. BMS and NBMS differ by physical disability but not cognitive and sleep dysfunction. Different components of disability in MS are associated with peripheral blood B cell ratios and B cell related gene expression levels. Thus, it is likely that altered B cell functions participate in the progression of disability in MS.