BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Excessive activation of certain lipid mediator (LM) pathways plays a role in the complex pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS). However, the relationship between bioactive LMs and different aspects of CNS-related pathophysiologic processes remains largely unknown. Therefore, in this study, we assessed the association of bioactive LMs belonging to the ω-3/ω-6 lipid classes with clinical and biochemical (serum neurofilament light [sNfL] and serum glial fibrillary acidic protein [sGFAP]) parameters and MRI-based brain volumes in patients with MS (PwMS) and healthy controls (HCs). METHODS: A targeted high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry approach was used on plasma samples of PwMS and HCs of the Project Y cohort, a cross-sectional population-based cohort that contains PwMS all born in 1966 in the Netherlands and age-matched HCs. LMs were compared between PwMS and HCs and were correlated with levels of sNfL, sGFAP, disability (Expanded Disability Status Scale [EDSS]), and brain volumes. Finally, significant correlates were included in a backward multivariate regression model to identify which LMs best related to disability. RESULTS: The study sample consisted of 170 patients with relapsing remitting MS (RRMS), 115 patients with progressive MS (PMS), and 125 HCs. LM profiles of patients with PMS significantly differed from those of patients with RRMS and HCs, particularly patients with PMS showed elevated levels of several arachidonic acid (AA) derivatives. In particular, 15-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (HETE) (r = 0.24, p < 0.001) correlated (average r = 0.2, p < 0.05) with clinical and biochemical parameters such as EDSS and sNfL. In addition, higher 15-HETE levels were related to lower total brain (r = -0.24, p = 0.04) and deep gray matter volumes (r = -0.27, p = 0.02) in patients with PMS and higher lesion volume (r = 0.15, p = 0.03) in all PwMS. DISCUSSION: In PwMS of the same birth year, we show that ω-3 and ω-6 LMs are associated with disability, biochemical parameters (sNfL, GFAP), and MRI measures. Furthermore, our findings indicate that, particularly, in patients with PMS, elevated levels of specific products of the AA pathway, such as 15-HETE, associate with neurodegenerative processes. Our findings highlight the potential relevance of ω-6 LMs in the pathogenesis of MS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e533-e545
Issue number5
Early online date8 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2023

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