Interleukin-13 exhibits neuroprotective properties in multiple sclerosis patients. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Potential role of IL-13 in neuroprotection and cortical excitability regulation in multiple sclerosis.
Mult Scler. 2011 Jun 15. Epub 2011 Jun 15. PMID: 21677024
Clinica Neurologica, Dipartimento di Neuroscienze, Uni. Tor Vergata/Centro Europeo per la Ricerca sul Cervello (CERC)/Fondazione Santa Lucia, Rome, Italy.
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-β(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.