Serum 3-phenyllactic acid level is reduced in benign multiple sclerosis and is associated with effector B cell ratios

Numan Oezguen, Vuslat Yılmaz, Thomas D. Horvath, Ece Akbayir, Sigmund J. Haidacher, Kathleen M. Hoch, Santosh Thapa, Jeremy Palacio, Recai Türkoğlu, Murat Kürtüncü, Melinda A. Engevik, James Versalovic, Anthony M. Haag, Erdem Tüzün

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: 3-phenyllactic acid (PLA) is produced by both intestinal bacteria and the human host. PLA exists in its D- and L- chiral forms. It modulates human immune functions, thereby acting as a mediator of bacterial-host interactions. We aim to determine the amount and potential influence of PLA on clinical and immunological features of MS. Methods: We measured D- and L-PLA levels in bacterial supernatants and in sera of 60 MS patients and 25 healthy controls. We investigated potential associations between PLA levels, clinical features of MS, serum cytokine levels and ratios of peripheral blood lymphocyte subsets. Results: Multiple gut commensal bacteria possessed the capacity to generate D- and L-PLA. MS patients with benign phenotype showed markedly lower PLA levels than healthy controls or other MS patients. Fingolimod resistant patients had higher PLA levels at baseline. Furthermore, MS patients with higher PLA levels tended to display increased memory B and plasma cell ratios, elevated IL-4 levels and increased ratios of IL-4 and IL-10 producing T cell subsets. Conclusion: Collectively, our work indicates that reduced serum levels of PLA could be associated with a favorable clinical course in MS and possibly be used as a biomarker.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104239
JournalMultiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Autoimmunity
  • B cell
  • MS biomarker
  • Microbiota
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Phenyllactic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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