More MS news articles for Jan 2002

Intercellular communication in the astrocyte culture as a measure of therapeutic efficacy in multiple sclerosis treated by interferon

Rev Neurol 2001 Nov 16;33(10):901-903
Tabernero A, Prieto JM, Sanchez Alvarez R, Lema M, Medina JM.
Unidad de Investigacion; Hospital Clinico Universitario de Salamanca, Salamanca, 37007, Espana.


Measurement of therapeutic efficacy in multiple sclerosis depends on the clinical and magnetic resonance findings on follow up. There are no biological markers. Measurement of interleukins and other markers of inflammation has not proved useful in the follow up of these patients. The response of astrocytes to mediators of inflammation gives rise to modification in their capacity for intercellular communication.


To find whether culture of astrocytes in serum from patients with multiple sclerosis at different clinical stages and on different treatments gives rise to modification in intercellular communication.


Astrocytes were cultured in serum from three patients with an untreated acute clinical episode of multiple sclerosis, and the results compared with those obtained after serum culture when the patients had been treated with interferon for a year.


In astrocyte culture using serum from patients with an acute episode of multiple sclerosis, but not on treatment with interferon, there was a statistically significant reduction in intercellular communication as compared to astrocytes cultured with serum from these same patients treated with interferon for one year (*p<?0.05; **p<?0.01).


Measurement of the modifications in intercellular communication on astrocyte culture may be used as a marker for inflammatory activity in the serum of patients with multiple sclerosis, and therefore as an index of therapeutic efficacy.