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More MS news articles for July 2003

Decreased Frequency of the Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha -308 Allele in Serbian Patients with Multiple Sclerosis

Eur Neurol. 2003;50(1):25-29
Drulovic J, Popadic D, Mesaros S, Dujmovic I I, Cvetkovic I I, Miljkovic D, Stojsavljevic N, Pravica V, Pekmezovic T, Bogdanovic G, Jarebinski M, Stojkovic MM.
Institute of Neurology, School of Medicine, University of Belgrade, UK.

Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) alpha has been considered the prototypic cytopathogenic cytokine in multiple sclerosis (MS), but recently this cytokine has been shown to possess significant anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects in demyelinating diseases.

It has been reported that the TNFalpha -308 polymorphism influences levels of TNFalpha production, and that the rare allele, TNF2, is associated with high TNFalpha production.

We investigated the TNFalpha -308 polymorphism in 143 unrelated Serbian patients with MS and 123 ethnically matched, healthy individuals using the allele-specific restriction fragment length polymorphism polymerase chain reaction technique.

The frequency of the TNF2 allele was significantly decreased in MS patients (14%) in comparison with controls (24%; p = 0.044).

The TNF2 allele had no influence on disease behavior, since it was not associated with the course and severity of MS in this group of patients.

The result suggests that in the Serbian population polymorphism at position -308 of TNFalpha or at an adjacent locus might have a role in MS susceptibility.