ABSTRACT: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a central nervous system disease in which activated autoreactive T-cells invade the blood brain barrier and initiate an inflammatory response that leads to myelin destruction and axonal loss. The etiology of MS, as well as the mechanisms associated with its unexpected onset, the unpredictable clinical course spanning decades, and the different rates of progression leading to disability over time, remains an enigma. We have applied gene expression microarrays technology in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) to better understand MS pathogenesis and better target treatment approaches. A signature of 535 genes were found to distinguish immunomodulatory treatment effects between 13 treated and 13 untreated MS patients. In addition, the expression pattern of 1109 gene transcripts that were previously reported to significantly differentiate between MS patients and healthy subjects were further analyzed to study the effect of cytokine-related pathways on disease pathogenesis. When relative gene expression for 26 MS patients was compared to 18 healthy controls, 30 genes related to various cytokine-associated pathways were identified. These genes belong to a variety of families such as interleukins, small inducible cytokine subfamily and tumor necrosis factor ligand and receptor. Further analysis disclosed seven cytokine-associated genes within the immunomodulatory treatment signature, and two cytokine-associated genes SCYA4 (small inducible cytokine A4) and FCAR (Fc fragment of IgA, CD89) that were common to both the MS gene expression signature and the immunomodulatory treatment gene expression signature. Our results indicate that cytokine-associated genes are involved in various pathogenic pathways in MS and also related to immunomodulatory treatment effects.
Clinical and Developmental Immunology 11(3-4):299-305. · 1.84 Impact Factor