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More MS news articles for February 2003

Monocyte-derived cytokines in multiple sclerosis

Clin Exp Immunol 2003 Feb;131(2):324-34
Filion LG, Graziani-Bowering G, Matusevicius D, Freedman MS.
Departments of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology and Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

MS is an inflammatory, presumably autoimmune, disease mediated by the activation of T cells, B cells and monocytes (MO).

Inflammation is thought to occur early during the relapsing-remitting phase of MS (RRMS), whereas in the later phases of MS such as secondary progressive MS (SPMS), inflammation tends to diminish.

Our objective was to compare the types and amounts of proinflammatory and regulatory cytokines produced by MO from relapsing-remitting patients with or without treatment with IFN-beta (RRMS+ therapy, RRMS- therapy), respectively, from secondary progressive patients (SPMS) and from healthy controls (HC).

MO were isolated by a density-gradient technique and three different techniques (RNase protection assay, ELISA and intracellular cytokine staining) were used to assess cytokine levels.

An increase in IL6, IL12 and TNF-alpha was observed by all three methods for RRMS- therapy and for SPMS patients compared to HC and RRMS+ therapy patients.

We conclude that proinflammatory and regulatory monokines can be derived from MO of MS patients and that these levels are modulated by IFN-beta therapy.

Although it is believed that inflammation tends to diminish in SPMS patients, our data show that inflammatory cytokines continue to be released at high levels, suggesting that IFN-beta or IL10 treatment may be beneficial for this group.