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Soluble and cell surface ICAM-3 in blood and cerebrospinal fluid of patients with multiple sclerosis: influence of methylprednisolone treatment and relevance as markers for disease activity

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Objective – The expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-3 (ICAM-3), a member of the Ig supergene family, is restricted to immune competent cells. Expression of soluble and cell surface ICAM-3 (s- and c-ICAM-3) is preferentially seen in the state of low activation of the immune system. We studied the relevance of the expression levels of s- and c-ICAM-3 in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and blood as markers for disease activity as well as the influence of high-dose methylprednisolone (MP) treatment upon the expression of s- and c-ICAM-3 in blood of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Materials and methods – A total of 33 patients (relapses n=25, remission n=8) with relapsing–remitting MS were included into the study. CSF and blood were acquired from all of them. Of the patients 24 were treated with high-dose MP. In those, blood was additionally collected at the 10th day of the therapy and after 3 months. Expression of c-ICAM-3 was determined by two colour FACS analysis, whereas the concentration levels of s-ICAM-3 were measured by ELISA. Results – In CSF we detected a significant decrease of the expression levels of c-ICAM-3 on CD3+ T cells in 25 patients suffering from an acute relapse in contrast to 8 patients with remission (P=0.04). In comparison to the levels before treatment and after 3 months, at the 10th day of MP treatment we obtained highly significant changes of the expression values of c-ICAM-3 both on CD3+ T cells (P=0.0004; P=0.005) and CD14+ monocytes/macrophages (P=0.0006; P=0.008) on the 10th day of high-dose MP treatment from 24 MS patients. Conclusion – The increase of ICAM-3 levels might indicate the anti-inflammatory effect of the MP treatment. It could be interesting to search for similar effects investigating the new immune modulatoring therapy forms of MS.

Keywords: ICAM-3; central nervous system; disease activity; methylprednisolone; multiple sclerosis

Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: 1: Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen, Department of Neurology, Am Steg 14, 35,385 Gießen, Germany, 2: Max Planck/W.G. Kerckhoff-Institut Bad Nauheim, Department of molecular cell biology; Parkstraße 1, 61,231 Bad Nauheim, Germany, 3: Justus-Liebig-Universität of Gießen, Department of Neuroradiology, Am Steg 10, 35,385 Gießen, Germany

Publication date: February 1, 2000


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