TH-17 Frequency in Peripheral Blood of MS Patients and its Modulation by IFN-β. K Hopek, C Myers, A Rostami, Department of Neurology, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia PA.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is widely accepted as CD4+ T cell-mediated autoimmune disease affecting the central nervous system. It was largely accepted that T helper 1 (Th1) cells driven by Interleukin-12 (IL-12) were pathogenic T cells in human MS and experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model of MS. More current results have established that IL-17-producing CD4+ T cells, driven by IL-23 and referred to as T helper 17 (Th17) cells, play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of EAE. A multicolor flow cytometry based assay was developed to compare the frequency Th17 related inflammatory cytokines in peripheral blood of Relapsing Remitting - Multiple Sclerosis (RR-MS) patients and healthy population. Fluorescently labeled antibodies were attached to a range of cell surface and intracellular cytokine targets for IL-17A, GM-CSF and IFN-γ and to complement the results the expression of Th17 related genes was measured using real-time PCR. A number of MS patients and healthy volunteers were analyzed to compare the proportion of Th17 related cytokines in the peripheral blood. Furthermore, the effect of Interferon-β (IFN-β) therapy on modulation of Th17 cells in periphery of MS patients was evaluated.