Monocytes in multiple sclerosis: phenotype and cytokine profile

M Kouwenhoven, N Teleshova, V Ozenci, R Press, H Link

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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory demyelinating disease characterised by immune abnormalities in the central nervous system (CNS) as well as systemically. Activated, blood-borne monocytes are abundant in MS lesions, the properties of circulating monocytes are incompletely known. To delineate phenotype and levels of cytokine secreting monocytes in MS patients' blood, ELISPOT assays were used for detection and enumeration of monocytes secreting the cytokines IL-6, IL-12, TNF-alpha and IL-10. In parallel, the expression by monocytes of co-stimulatory molecules (CD40, CD80, CD86), major histocompatibility complex molecules (HLA-ABC, HLA-DR) and Fcgamma receptors (CD16, CD64) was examined by flow cytometry. Levels of blood monocytes secreting IL-6 and IL-12 were higher in patients with untreated MS and other neurological diseases (OND) compared to healthy controls, while levels of monocytes secreting TNF-alpha and IL-10 did not differ between groups. MS patients' blood monocytes also displayed elevated mean fluorescence intensity for the co-stimulatory molecule CD86, and MS patients with longer disease duration (>10 years) and higher disease severity (EDSS >3) had higher percentages of CD80 expressing monocytes compared to patients with short duration or lower severity. In conclusion, monocyte aberrations occur in MS and may change over the disease course.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-205
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001

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