Decreased interleukin-10 and increased interleukin- 12p40 mRNA are associated with disease activity and characterize different disease stages in multiple sclerosis

A. H.H. Van Boxel-Dezaire, S. C.J. Hoff, B. W. Van Oosten, C. L. Verweij, A. M. Dräger, H. J. Adèr, J. C. Van Houwelingen, F. Barkhof, C. H. Polman, L. Nagelkerken

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It has been shown that proinflammatory and antiinflammatory cytokines correlate with disease activity in multiple sclerosis (MS). To establish whether such correlations depend on the disease stage, we assessed in a longitudinal fashion the expression of interleukin (IL)-12 (p40 and p35), tumor necrosis factor- 1/4 , interferon-γ, and IL-10 mRNA by competitive polymerase chain reaction in unstimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells of relapsing-remitting (RR) and secondary progressive (SP) MS patients, in relation to monthly clinical and magnetic resonance imaging monitoring. MS patients had increased levels of IL-12p40 and decreased levels of IL-10 mRNA compared with controls; this difference was most pronounced in SP patients. Both RR and SP patients had increased levels of IL-12p40 mRNA compared with controls during the development of active lesions. Moreover, in RR MS an increase was found before relapse. IL-12p35 mRNA was decreased in both groups, and in relation to disease activity it showed a pattern different from IL-12p40 mRNA. In RR MS, IL-10 mRNA was low 4 weeks before magnetic resonance imaging activity and 6 weeks before relapse; a significant increase to normal levels was noted when active lesions became apparent. In contrast, SP patients showed low IL-10 mRNA levels constitutively, suggesting that IL- 10 plays an important role in the control of disease progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-703
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of neurology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 1999

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