Multiple Sclerosis Journal, Ahead of Print.
Background:Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a central nervous system (CNS) autoimmune demyelinating disease. Its pathogenesis involves humoral and cellular immunity, with production of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines by T cells.Objective:To analyze the cytokine profile of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) T cells in patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) and non-inflammatory controls.Methods:T cell cytokine production was analyzed by flow cytometry in CSF samples collected from 34 untreated RRMS patients and 20 age-matched controls. Immunofluorescence studies were performed in spinal cord MS active lesions.Results:Percentages of CSF-derived IL-17A, IL-17A/IL-22, and IL-17A/GM-CSF producing T cells were significantly higher in RRMS patients compared to controls. Percentages of T cells producing IFN-γ were lower in RRMS patients compared to controls. Patients in relapse showed higher percentages of CD4+ T cells producing IL-13 and GM-CSF compared to patients in remission. We found a positive correlation between percentages of IL-13+ T cells and the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS; ρ = 0.5; p < 0.05). Meningeal IL-13-producing T cells were detected in spinal cord MS active lesions.Conclusion:We observed differences in IL-17, IL-22, and IFN-γ production by CSF T cells in RRMS versus controls and a positive correlation between IL-13-producing T cells and EDSS in RRMS patients.