Image_1_Differential Expression of HERV-W in Peripheral Blood in Multiple Sclerosis and Healthy Patients in Two Different Ethnic Groups.pdf

Overexpression of the Human endogenous retrovirus W (HERV-W) group of inherited retroviruses has been consistently linked with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). However most of the studies on this link have focused on European genetic groups with a very high risk of MS and it is not clear that this relationship holds for all ethnic groups. This study examined via qPCR the RNA expression in peripheral blood of HERV-W (the multiple sclerosis associated retrovirus variant MSRV) of MS patients and healthy controls from two ethnic groups with very different risk rates of MS. Population one was derived from the UK with a Northern European genetic background and an MS risk rate of 108/100,000, population two was derived from the republic of Tatarstan, Russian Federation, with a mixed Russian (Eastern European) and Tartar (Turkic or Volga/Urals) population with an MS risk rate of 21-31/100,000. The Russian population displayed a significantly higher basal level of expression of MSRV in both healthy and MS individuals when compared to the British control population with a trend in the Russian population towards higher expression levels in MS patients than healthy patients.