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Multiple sclerosis is a chronic demyelinating disorder characterized by the infiltration of auto-reactive immune cells from the periphery into the central nervous system resulting in axonal injury and neuronal cell death. Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis represents the best characterized animal model as common clinical, histological, and immunological features are recapitulated. A label-free mass spectrometric proteomics approach was used to detect differences in protein abundance within specific fractions of disease-affected tissues including the soluble lysate derived from the spinal cord and membrane protein-enriched peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Tissues were harvested from actively induced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis mice and sham-induced ( vehicle control) counterparts at the disease peak followed by subsequent analysis by nanoflow liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Relative protein quantitation was performed using both intensity- and fragmentation-based approaches. After statistical evaluation of the data, over 500 and 250 differentially abundant proteins were identified in the spinal cord and peripheral blood mononuclear cell data sets, respectively. More than half of these observations have not previously been linked to the disease. The biological significance of all candidate disease markers has been elucidated through rigorous literature searches, pathway analysis, and validation studies. Results from comprehensive targeted mass spectrometry analyses have confirmed the differential abundance of approximately 200 candidate markers (>/= twofold dysregulated expression) at a 70 success rate. This study is, to our knowledge, the first to examine the cell-surface proteome of peripheral blood mononuclear cells in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. These data provide a unique mechanistic insight into the dynamics of peripheral immune cell infiltration into CNS-privileged sites at a molecular level and has identified several candidate markers, which represent promising targets for future multiple sclerosis therapies. The mass spectrometry proteomics data associated with this manuscript have been deposited to the ProteomeXchange Consortium with the data set identifier PXD000255.
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