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Mult Scler. 2011 Nov;17(11):1301-12. doi: 10.1177/1352458511410342. Epub 2011 Jun 15.

Potential role of IL-13 in neuroprotection and cortical excitability regulation in multiple sclerosis.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Neuroscienze, Universit├á Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Inflammation triggers secondary neurodegeneration in multiple sclerosis (MS).

OBJECTIVES:

It is unclear whether classical anti-inflammatory cytokines have the potential to interfere with synaptic transmission and neuronal survival in MS.

METHODS:

Correlation analyses between cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) contents of anti-inflammatory cytokines and molecular, imaging, clinical, and neurophysiological measures of neuronal alterations were performed.

RESULTS:

Our data suggest that interleukin-13 (IL-13) plays a neuroprotective role in MS brains. We found, in fact, that the levels of IL-13 in the CSF of MS patients were correlated with the contents of amyloid-╬▓(1-42). Correlations were also found between IL-13 and imaging indexes of axonal and neuronal integrity, such as the retinal nerve fibre layer thickness and the macular volume evaluated by optical coherence tomography. Furthermore, the levels of IL-13 were related to better performance in the low-contrast acuity test and Multiple Sclerosis Functional Composite scoring. Finally, by means of transcranial magnetic stimulation, we have shown that GABAA-mediated cortical inhibition was more pronounced in patients with high IL-13 levels in the CSF, as expected for a neuroprotective, anti-excitotoxic effect.

CONCLUSIONS:

The present correlation study provides some evidence for the involvement of IL-13 in the modulation of neuronal integrity and synaptic function in patients with MS.

PMID:
21677024
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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