Lipid Mediator Profiles Predict Response to Therapy with an Oral Frankincense Extract in Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis
Lipid mediators (LMs) are a unique class of immunoregulatory signalling molecules and known to be affected by frankincense extracts. We performed LM profiling by metabololipidomics in plasma samples from 28 relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RR-MS) patients who took a standardised frankincense extract (SFE) daily for eight months in a clinical phase IIa trial (NCT01450124) and in 28 age- and gender-matched healthy controls. Magnetic resonance imaging, immunological outcomes and serum neurofilament light chain levels were correlated to changes in the LM profiles of the RR-MS cohort. Eight out of 44 analysed LMs were significantly reduced during an eight-month treatment period by the SFE and seven of these eight significant LM derive from the 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO) pathway. Baseline levels of 12- and 15-LO products were elevated in patients who exhibited disease activity (EDA) during SFE treatment compared to no-evidence-of-disease-activity (NEDA) patients and could predict treatment response to the SFE in a prediction model at baseline. Oral treatment with an SFE significantly reduces 5-LO-derived LMs in RR-MS patients during an eight-month treatment period. Treatment response to an SFE, however, seems to be related to 12-,15-LO and cyclooxygenase product levels before SFE exposure. Further studies should confirm their biomarker potential in RR-MS and SFE treatment.