1Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran
2Autoimmune Diseases Research Center
3Infertility Research Center
4Department of Immunology
5Department of Biochemistry
6Department of Neurology, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a demyelinating disease of the central nervous system and cytokines may play a role in the development of MS lesions. Objective: To determine levels of different cytokines in patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RR-MS) compared to healthy controls. Methods: Profiles of pro-inflammatory, Th1-, Th2-, and Th17-related cytokines were compared by quantitative multiplexed ELISA-based chemiluminescent assay in 44 RR-MS and 44 healthy age- and sex-matched individuals from the same ethnicity. Results: Among pro-inflammatory cytokines, the levels of IL-6 (p=0.003), IL-8 (p=0.05) and TNF-α (p=0.002) were higher in patients than controls, though IL-4 and IL-10 as well as ΣTh2 cytokines were lower in patients (p=0.05, p=0.02 and p=0.05, respectively). After gender classification, the higher levels of IL-4 in male patients remained significant and IL-13 also showed significantly higher levels in male patients compared to male controls (p=0.003 and p=0.05, respectively). A significant negative correlation was detected between EDSS and IL-10 or ΣTh2 levels (p=0.005). In addition, IL-1α (r=0.4, p=0.05) and IFN-γ (r=0.35, p=0.05) were also directly correlated with EDSS in female patients. Conclusions: Patients with RR‑MS who are in the relapse clinical phase exhibit higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and reduction in protective Th2-related cytokines.