Serum FAM19A5 in neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders: Can it be a new biomarker representing clinical status?

Hye Lim Lee, Hung Youl Seok, Han Wook Ryu, Eun Bee Cho, Bong Chul Kim, Byoung Joon Kim, Ju Hong Min, Jin Myoung Seok, Ha Young Shin, Sa Yoon Kang, Oh Hyun Kwon, Sang Soo Lee, Jeeyoung Oh, Eun Hee Sohn, So Young Huh, Joong Yang Cho, Jae Young Seong, Byung Jo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) targets astrocytes and elevates the levels of astrocyte-injury markers during attacks. FAM19A5, involved in reactive gliosis, is secreted by reactive astrocytes following central nervous system (CNS) damage. Objective: To investigate the significance of serum FAM19A5 in patients with NMOSD. Methods: We collected clinical data and sera of 199 patients from 11 hospitals over 21 months. FAM19A5 levels were compared among three groups: NMOSD with positive anti-aquaporin-4 antibody (NMOSD-AQP4), other CNS demyelinating disease, and healthy controls. Results: The median serum FAM19A5 level was higher in the NMOSD-AQP4 (4.90 ng/mL (3.95, 5.79)) than in the other CNS demyelinating (2.35 ng/mL (1.83, 4.07), p < 0.001) or healthy control (1.02 ng/mL (0.92, 1.14), p < 0.001) groups. There were significant differences in the median serum FAM19A5 levels between the attack and remission periods (5.89 ng/mL (5.18, 6.98); 4.40 ng/mL (2.72, 5.13), p < 0.001) in the NMOSD-AQP4 group. Sampling during an attack (p < 0.001) and number of past attacks (p = 0.010) were independently associated with increased serum FAM19A5. Conclusion: Serum FAM19A5 was higher in patients with NMOSD-AQP4 and correlated with clinical characteristics. Thus, serum FAM19A5 may be a novel clinical biomarker for NMOSD-AQP4.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1700-1707
Number of pages8
JournalMultiple Sclerosis Journal
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Nov 1


  • CNS demyelinating disease
  • FAM19A5
  • MOG associated disease
  • Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder
  • astrocyte
  • reactive gliosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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