Objective: To assess whether MS genetic risk polymorphisms (single nucleotide polymorphism [SNP]) contribute to the enhanced humoral immune response against Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection in patients with MS. Methods: Serum anti-EBV nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA-1) and early antigen D (EA-D) immunoglobulin γ (IgG) levels were quantitatively determined in 668 genotyped patients with MS and 147 healthy controls. Anti-varicella-zoster virus (VZV) IgG levels were used as a highly prevalent, non-MS-Associated control herpesvirus. Associations between virus-specific IgG levels and MS risk SNPs were analyzed. Results: IgG levels of EBNA-1, but not EA-D and VZV, were increased in patients with MS compared with healthy controls. Increased EBNA-1 IgG levels were significantly associated with risk alleles of SNP rs2744148 (SOX8), rs11154801 (MYB), rs1843938 (CARD11), and rs7200786 (CLEC16A/CIITA) in an interaction model and a trend toward significance for rs3135388 (HLA-DRB1-1501). In addition, risk alleles of rs694739 (PRDX5/BAD) and rs11581062 (VCAM1) were independently associated and interacted with normal EBNA-1 IgG levels. None of these interactions were associated with EA-D and VZV IgG titers. Conclusions: Several MS-Associated SNPs significantly correlated with differential IgG levels directed to a latent, but not a lytic EBV protein. The data suggest that the aforementioned immune-related genes orchestrate the aberrant EBNA-1 IgG levels.

doi.org/10.1212/NXI.0000000000000406, hdl.handle.net/1765/103081
Neurology: Neuroimmunology and NeuroInflammation
Department of Neurology

Kreft, K., van Nierop, G., Scherbeijn, S., Janssen, M., Verjans, G., & Hintzen, R. (2017). Elevated EBNA-1 IgG in MS is associated with genetic MS risk variants. Neurology: Neuroimmunology and NeuroInflammation, 4(6). doi:10.1212/NXI.0000000000000406