Eur Cytokine Netw 2002 Jan;13(1):110-4
Rodriguez-Sainz Mdel C, Sanchez-Ramon S, Andres CD, Rodriguez-Mahou M, Munoz-Fernandez MA.
Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Mara n, Laboratorio de Inmuno-Biolog a Molecular, c/ Dr. Esquerdo 46, 28007 Madrid.
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF-alpha) and IL-10 are key regulators of the T helper (Th)1/Th2 balance, which is critically skewed in many pathological conditions including immune-mediated inflammatory diseases of central nervous system (CNS) such as multiple sclerosis (MS).
Nitric oxide (NO) has been reported to have dual effects on CNS pathology, and to play an important role in MS.
We performed a cross-sectional study in 17 randomly selected patients during MS flare-up, and compared levels of TNF-alpha, IL-10 and NO in serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) with the serum values of these mediators in two different control groups, healthy subjects and HIV-infected untreated patients.
Serum and CSF values of TNF-alpha, IL-10 and NO were higher in MS patients than in the serum of healthy controls.
Two MS patients showed increased levels of NO in CSF, with inversion of the NOSERUM/NOCSF quotient, which is clearly indicative of an intrathecal production of NO.
No correlation among the values of both cytokines and NO, and the laboratory parameters analysed in MS patients (IgG index, presence of IgG oligoclonal bands and albumin quotient) was found.
The high levels of TNF-alpha and IL-10 (both in serum and CSF) accompanying an MS attack suggest a simultaneous expression of Th1 and Th2 cytokines as opposed to sequential expression of Th1 followed by Th2 as described in the models of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE).
Globally, our results support the inherent heterogeneity of the disease.