Cunnane, S.C.; Ho, S.Y.; Dore Duffy, P.; Ells, K.R.; Horrobin, D.F.
Essential fatty acid and lipid profiles in plasma and erythrocytes in patients with multiple sclerosis
Am J Clin Nutr 1989; 50(4): 801-6.
(Full text)  


This study was conducted to investigate the possible differences in erythrocyte lipid composition, which might account for the previously reported increase in erythrocyte membrane zinc levels in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Compared with healthy control subjects, plasma lipids in patients with MS contained less sphingomyelin but more phosphatidylserine and the cholesterol-phospholipid ratio was 42% higher in the plasma from MS patients (p less than 0.01). In erythrocytes from MS patients, phosphatidylinositol was lower and erythrocyte cholesterol per milligram protein was significantly lower than concentrations in healthy control subjects (p less than 0.01). Among the long-chain fatty acids, the omega-3 fatty acids were lower in plasma from MS patients and linoleic acid was lower in erythrocyte ghosts from MS patients (p less than 0.01). We conclude that altered levels of cholesterol in plasma and erythrocytes from MS patients may contribute to increased erythrocyte-membrane Zn in MS patients. It cannot be stated with certainty whether the altered fatty acid profiles in MS patients were a function of the disease or of altered fatty acid intake.

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