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Acta Neurol Scand. 2010 Dec;122(6):425-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0404.2010.01333.x.

Interleukin-17 and interleukin-23 are elevated in serum and cerebrospinal fluid of patients with ALS: a reflection of Th17 cells activation?

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Department of Neurology, Aeginition Hospital, Athens National University, School of Medicine, Athens, Greece.



There is evidence that immunological factors may involved in pathogenetic mechanisms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Th17 cells are characterized by predominant production of IL-17 and are suggested to be crucial in destructive autoimmunity. Interleukin-23 (IL-23) appears to play a supporting role in the continued stimulation and survival of Th17.


We measured by enzyme-like immunosorbent assay (ELISA) serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of IL-17 and IL-23 in 22 patients with ALS and 19 patients with other non-inflammatory neurological disorders (NIND) studied as a control group. IL-17 and IL-23 serum and CSF levels were also correlated with duration of the disease, the disability level and the clinical subtype of the disease onset in patients with ALS.


IL-17 and IL-23 serum levels were higher in patients with ALS as compared with patients with NIND (P = 0.015 and P = 0.002 respectively). IL-17 and IL-23 CSF levels were also increased in patients with ALS (P = 0.0006 and P = 0.000001 respectively). IL-17 and IL-23 levels were not correlated with disease duration, disability scale or clinical subtype of the disease onset in ALS patients.


Our findings suggest that these molecules may be involved in the pathogenetic mechanisms acting as potential markers of Th17 cells activation in ALS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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