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More MS news articles for March 2003

Nitric oxide metabolite determinations reveal continuous inflammation in multiple sclerosis

J Neuroimmunol 2003 Mar;136(1-2):112-8
Danilov AI, Andersson M, Bavand N, Wiklund NP, Olsson T, Brundin L.
Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska Hospital, S-17176, Stockholm, Sweden

Nitric oxide (NO) is formed as a consequence of induction of the iNOS enzyme during inflammatory disorders.

To investigate NO production in multiple sclerosis (MS), we determined the concentrations of its oxidation products (NOx) in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and plasma of 61 MS patients.

The patients were divided into three groups on the basis of their clinical disease activity.

The total levels of NOx in CSF were significantly increased in all MS groups as compared to healthy controls and tension headache patients.

CSF nitrite correlated with clinical disease activity.

At exacerbation, the CSF nitrite levels exceed the plasma level.

This suggests that clinical disease activity is due to a CNS inflammatory response, which is more intense and qualitatively different from that during clinical stable phases.

This study supports NO involvement in the pathogenesis of MS and determination of nitrite levels may be useful a surrogate marker for disease activity.