Adipokines as immune cell modulators in multiple sclerosis

Merel Rijnsburger*, Niek Djuric, Inge A. Mulder, Helga E. de Vries

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


Multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic inflammatory and demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS), is a major clinical and societal problem, which has a tremendous impact on the life of patients and their proxies. Current immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory therapies prove to be relatively effective; however, they fail to concomitantly stop ongoing neurological dete-rioration and do not reverse acquired disability. The proportion to which genetic and environmental factors contribute to the etiology of MS is still incompletely understood; however, a recent association between MS etiology and obesity was shown, with obesity greatly increasing the risk of devel-oping MS. An altered balance of adipokines, which are white adipose tissue (WAT) hormones, plays an important role in the low-grade chronic inflammation during obesity by their pervasive modifi-cation of local and systemic inflammation. Vice versa, inflammatory factors secreted by immune cells affect adipokine function. To explore the role of adipokines in MS pathology, we will here review the reciprocal effects of adipokines and immune cells and summarize alterations in adi-pokine levels in MS patient cohorts. Finally, we will discuss proof-of-concept studies demonstrating the therapeutic potential of adipokines to target both neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration processes in MS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10845
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021

Cite this