J Neuroimmunol. 2003 Sep;142(1-2):141-8
Killestein J, Eikelenboom MJ, Izeboud T, Kalkers NF, Ader HJ, Barkhof F, Van Lier RA, Uitdehaag BM, Polman CH.
Department of Neurology, VU Medical Centre, P.O. Box 7057, 1007 MB, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Specific T-cell subsets and their ability to produce cytokines have been involved in concepts of multiple sclerosis (MS) pathogenesis.
Evidence to link cytokine producing T-cell subsets to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features of tissue destruction, however, is limited.Cytokine flow cytometry was performed in 124 patients with different subtypes of MS.
In a subgroup of 69 patients, from whom longitudinal MRI was available, the ability of circulating types 1 and 2 helper T cells to produce cytokines was correlated to changes in T1 hypointense and T2 hyperintense lesion load (LL) on brain MRI during 3 years of follow-up.
Significant negative correlations were found between baseline CD8(+) T-cell subsets producing IL-2, IL-4 or IL-13 and the change in T1 LL.
Subgroup analyses demonstrated that in RRMS, CD8(+) T cells producing IL-2, IL-4 or IL-13, and in PPMS, CD8(+) IL-10(+) T cells correlated negatively with T1 LL.
To our knowledge, this study provides the first direct immunophenotypic evidence of cytokine producing CD8(+) T cells being directly related to long-term development of MRI features of demyelination and axonal loss.