Although many studies have been carried out in order to understand the implication of copper (Cu) in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS), the exact role that this metal plays in the disease is not still clear. Because of the lack of information in this subject, the present study compared the serum and cerebrospinal (CSF) levels of copper in MS patients in respect to a control group, matched for age and sex, finding a significant increase of metal concentrations, in both biological fluids of MS subjects. To confirm the possible impairment of Cu metabolism, we analyzed ceruloplasmin (Cp) level and activity, seeing as this protein is an established peripheral marker in diseases associated with Cu imbalance. By comparing these two parameters between control and MS subjects, we found an increase of Cp levels, associated with a decrease in Cp activity, in the second group. By analysing these data, free copper levels were calculated, significantly increased in serum of MS subjects; the increase in free copper could be one of the predisposing factors responsible for the Cu altered levels in CSF of MS patients. At the same time, this alteration could be attributable to the inability to incorporate Cu by Cp, probably due to the high oxidative environment found in serum of MS patients. Overall, all these copper alterations may play a role in MS pathogenesis.
De Riccardis, L.;Buccolieri, A.
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