T cells producing GM-CSF and IL-13 are enriched in the cerebrospinal fluid of relapsing MS patients

Laura Ghezzi, Claudia Cantoni, Francesca Cignarella, Bryan Bollman, Anne H. Cross, Amber Salter, Daniela Galimberti, Marina Cella, Laura Piccio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a central nervous system (CNS) autoimmune demyelinating disease. Its pathogenesis involves humoral and cellular immunity, with production of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines by T cells. Objective: To analyze the cytokine profile of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) T cells in patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) and non-inflammatory controls. Methods: T cell cytokine production was analyzed by flow cytometry in CSF samples collected from 34 untreated RRMS patients and 20 age-matched controls. Immunofluorescence studies were performed in spinal cord MS active lesions. Results: Percentages of CSF-derived IL-17A, IL-17A/IL-22, and IL-17A/GM-CSF producing T cells were significantly higher in RRMS patients compared to controls. Percentages of T cells producing IFN-γ were lower in RRMS patients compared to controls. Patients in relapse showed higher percentages of CD4+ T cells producing IL-13 and GM-CSF compared to patients in remission. We found a positive correlation between percentages of IL-13+ T cells and the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS; ρ = 0.5; p < 0.05). Meningeal IL-13-producing T cells were detected in spinal cord MS active lesions. Conclusion: We observed differences in IL-17, IL-22, and IFN-γ production by CSF T cells in RRMS versus controls and a positive correlation between IL-13-producing T cells and EDSS in RRMS patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1172-1186
Number of pages15
JournalMultiple Sclerosis Journal
Volume26
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • T cells
  • cerebrospinal fluid
  • cytokines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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