A Urinary Metabolic Signature for Multiple Sclerosis and Neuromyelitis Optica

Teklab Gebregiworgis, Helle H. Nielsen, Chandirasegaran Massilamany, Arunakumar Gangaplara, Jay Reddy, Zsolt Illes, Robert Powers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Urine is a metabolite-rich biofluid that reflects the body's effort to maintain chemical and osmotic homeostasis. Clinical diagnosis routinely relies on urine samples because the collection process is easy and noninvasive. Despite these advantages, urine is an under-investigated source of biomarkers for multiple sclerosis (MS). Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) has become a common approach for analyzing urinary metabolites for disease diagnosis and biomarker discovery. For illustration of the potential of urinary metabolites for diagnosing and treating MS patients, and for differentiating between MS and other illnesses, 38 urine samples were collected from healthy controls, MS patients, and neuromyelitis optica-spectrum disorder (NMO-SD) patients and analyzed with NMR, multivariate statistics, one-way ANOVA, and univariate statistics. Urine from MS patients exhibited a statistically distinct metabolic signature from healthy and NMO-SD controls. A total of 27 metabolites were differentially altered in the urine from MS and NMO-SD patients and were associated with synthesis and degradation of ketone bodies, amino acids, propionate and pyruvate metabolism, tricarboxylic acid cycle, and glycolysis. Metabolites altered in urine from MS patients were shown to be related to known pathogenic processes relevant to MS, including alterations in energy and fatty acid metabolism, mitochondrial activity, and the gut microbiota.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)659-666
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of proteome research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 5 2016


  • NMR
  • metabolomics
  • multiple sclerosis
  • multivariate statistics
  • neuromyelitis optica-spectrum disorder
  • urine biomarkers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry(all)

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