J Neuroimmunol 2002 Mar;124(1-2):93-100
Rajda C, Bencsik K, Vecsei L L, Bergquist J.
Department of Neurology, University of Szeged, Semmelweis u. 6, H-6725, Szeged, Hungary
Circumstantial evidence suggests the involvement of sympathoadrenergic mechanisms in the progress of multiple sclerosis (MS).We studied peripheral blood lymphocytes from MS patients.
The levels of dopamine (DA), norepinephrine (NE), epinephrine (E) and their metabolites in extracts of lymphocytes from 58 MS patients and 19 healthy controls were measured by using capillary electrophoresis.
The MS patients were divided into clinical subgroups: a laboratory-supported definitive (first-attack) MS group, and a relapsing-remitting (RR) group in remission.The peripheral blood lymphocyte level of epinephrine was significantly higher in the first-attack MS patients (p=0.028) than in the controls.
However, the norepinephrine levels were significantly (p=0.027) lower in the RR patients in remission.
The catecholamines are known to be able to affect the lymphocyte activity, both by stimulation and by immunosuppression.
Our results suggest that the catecholamines are important regulators of lymphocyte activation in MS, and of potential importance as concerns new diagnostic and therapeutic methods.