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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Minerva Medica 2011 December;102(6):461-8

language: English

Cytokine profile, Foxp3 and nuclear factor-kB ligand levels in multiple sclerosis subtypes

Alatab S., Maghbooli Z., Hossein-Nezhad A., Khosrofar M., Mokhtari F.

Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


AIM:Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) present with heterogeneous clinical courses. To elucidate whether different immunopathological mechanisms are involved in MS subgroups, we compared serum levels of TNF-α, IL-1β, hs-CRP, receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand (RANKL) and peripheral blood foxp3 expression in clinical subtypes of MS (relapsing remitting: RR-MS; secondary progressive: SP-MS; primary progressive: PP-MS) and healthy subjects.
METHODS: In a case-control study, 72 healthy individuals and 72 age- and sex-matched multiple sclerotic patients (57% RR-MS, 18% SP- MS and 25% PP-MS) were evaluated. The age, gender distribution, and BMI of MS patients in these three sup-types were similar. The serum levels of TNF-α, IL-1β, and RANKL were measured by ELISA. hs-CRP was measured by imunoturbidimetric method. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells expression of Foxp3 was measured by real time PCR.
RESULTS: A significant elevation of TNF-α, hs-CRP, IL-1β and RANKL and diminution of Foxp3 expression in MS patients compared to control was found (P<0.001). PP-MS had highest levels of TNF-α, IL-1β, CRP and RANKL, and lowest levels of foxp3, with difference in TNF-α reached significant level (P<0.01). RANKL and TNF-α showed a reverse (P<0.01) significant correlation with Foxp3 relative expression levels. Patients with early age onset (onset before 30 years) had significantly higher levels of hs-CRP compared to late age onset patients.
CONCLUSION: These data demonstrate the presence of immunopathogenesis differences between relapsing and non-relapsing form and is also the first to stress a role for cytokine RANKL in MS patients.

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