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Multiple Sclerosis International
Volume 2014, Article ID 436764, 8 pages
Research Article

Cytokines as Biomarkers of Treatment Response to IFNβ in Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis

1Department of Neurology, Patras University Hospital, 26500 Patras, Greece
2Division of Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine, Medical School, University of Patras, 26500 Patras, Greece
3Hellenic Open University, Parodos Aristotelous 18, 26335 Patras, Greece

Received 9 April 2014; Revised 9 July 2014; Accepted 13 July 2014; Published 22 July 2014

Academic Editor: Bianca Weinstock-Guttman

Copyright © 2014 Nikolaos Dimisianos et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. MS patients show a remarkable heterogeneity in their response to disease modifying treatments. Given the need for early treatment initiation and the diversity of available options, a predictive marker that indicates good or poor response to treatment is highly desirable. Objective. To find a biomarker for treatment response to IFNβ among pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines. Materials and Methods. IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, IL-17A, and TGF-β1 levels were measured in serum and CSF of 43 patients with RR-MS who were followed up for a mean period of 5.3 years. Thirty-five patients received IFNβ treatment and were divided into good responders (GR, n = 19) and poor responders (PR, n = 16). The remaining 8 patients showed a very favorable outcome and remained untreated (noRx). Results. GR had significantly higher serum baseline levels of IL-17A than PR and significantly higher serum levels of IL-17A, IFN-γ, TNF-α, and IL-2 than noRx. PR had significantly higher IFN-γ serum levels than noRx. No significant differences were observed in serum levels of IL-6, IL-4, IL-10, and TGF-β1 or the levels of all cytokines measured in CSF between the 3 groups of patients. Conclusions. Baseline serum levels of IL-17A can be used as a biomarker of IFNβ treatment response.