Pro-inflammatory pattern of IgG1 Fc glycosylation in multiple sclerosis cerebrospinal fluid

M. Wuhrer, M.H.J. Selman, L.A. McDonnell, T. Kumpfel, T. Derfuss, M. Khademi, T. Olsson, R. Hohlfeld, E. Meinl, M. Krumbholz

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Immunoglobulin G (IgG) effector functions are regulated by the composition of glycans attached to a conserved N-glycosylation site in the Fc part. Intrathecal production of IgG, especially IgG1, is a hallmark of multiple sclerosis (MS), but nothing is known about IgG Fc glycosylation in MS and in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in general. Methods: We applied mass spectrometry of tryptic Fc glycopeptides to analyze IgG Fc glycosylation (sialylation, galactosylation, fucosylation, and bisecting N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc)) in 48 paired CSF and serum samples from adult patients with MS or a first demyelinating event highly suggestive of MS (designated as MS cases), and from healthy volunteers and patients with other non-inflammatory diseases (control group). p values were adjusted for multiple testing. Results: Our experiments revealed four main results. First, IgG1 glycosylation patterns were different in CSF vs. serum, in the MS group and even in control donors without intrathecal IgG synthesis. Second, in MS patients vs. controls, IgG1 glycosylation patterns were altered in CSF, but not in serum. Specifically, in CSF from the MS group, bisecting GlcNAc were elevated, and afucosylation and galactosylation were reduced. Elevated bisecting GlcNAc and reduced galactosylation are known to enhance IgG effector functions. Third, hypothesis-free regression analysis revealed that alterations of afucosylation and bisecting GlcNAc in CSF from MS cases peaked 2-3 months after the last relapse. Fourth, CSF IgG1 glycosylation correlated with the degree of intrathecal IgG synthesis and CSF cell count. Conclusions: The CNS compartment as well as the inflammatory milieu in MS affect IgG1 Fc glycosylation. In MS, the CSF IgG1 glycosylation has features that enhance Fc effector functions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number235
JournalJournal of Neuroinflammation
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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