Eur Cytokine Netw 2002 Jan;13(1):99-103
Franciotta D, Martino G, Zardini E, Furlan R, Bergamaschi R, Gironi M, Bergami A, Angelini G, Benedetti FD, Pignatti P, Moscato G, Cosi V.
Foundation Neurological Institute C. Mondino, via Palestro 3, I-27100 Pavia, Italy.
In multiple sclerosis (MS), pathological white matter damage in the central nervous system is sustained by immune-inflammatory response.
Caspase-1 plays a pivotal role in immune-mediated inflammation, as it regulates the cellular export of IL-1beta and IL-18.
We carried out a preliminary in vitro study of the kinetics of extracellular caspase-1 release.
We then measured caspase-1 levels in paired serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples of 75 MS patients, 15 healthy subjects, and patients with other neurological diseases.
Paired synovial fluid and serum samples of patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and paired sputum and serum samples of asthma patients were also studied.
Mean serum caspase-1 concentrations did not differ between groups.
Caspase-1 was detected in the CSF of patients with acute, but not stable, MS [7.5 (SEM) 0.9 pg/ml; test's sensitivity, 56% and specificity, 100%].
Its levels correlated with pleocytosis.
The highest mean caspase-1 levels were found in the arthritic synovial fluids (945.5 126.6 pg/ml, which correlated with erythrocyte sedimentation rate), and in the sputum samples (370.1 71.0 pg/ml, which correlated with the number of macrophages in the sputum).
On condition that caspase-1 is determined in the fluids pertaining to the disease-specific inflammatory sites, its level is a reliable marker of ongoing immune-inflammatory response.
The enzyme measurement in CSF can also help define state-trait in MS.