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Effect of high-dose methylprednisolone treatment on Th17 cells in patients with multiple sclerosis in relapse

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Liu M, Hu X, Wang Y, Peng F, Yang Y, Chen X, Lu Z, Zheng X. Effect of high-dose methylprednisolone treatment on Th17 cells in patients with multiple sclerosis in relapse.

Acta Neurol Scand 2009: 120: 235–241.

© 2009 The Authors Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Munksgaard. Objectives – 

Growing evidences have suggested that Th17 cells are involved in the pathogenic mechanisms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Treatment with high-dose intravenous methylprednisolone (IVMP) has beneficial effects on functional recovery in patients with MS during relapse. The present study was designed to analyze the influences of IVMP on Th17 cells in patients with MS after a 5-day high-dose IVMP treatment. Materials and methods – 

Th17 cell count and the production of IL-17 in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were measured using flow cytometry and ELISA respectively. Quantitative real-time PCR was performed to analyze the mRNA expression of Th17 cell-related factors (IL-17, RORc and IL-23R) in PBMCs. Results – 

A significant reduction in IL-17 production and Th17 cells count in PBMCs was found in patients with MS after IVMP treatment. Moreover, the expression of IL-17, IL-23R and RORc mRNA decreased significantly after IVMP treatment. Conclusions – 

Treatment with methylprednisolone has a suppressive effect on Th17 cells and may be related to its clinical efficiency.

Keywords: IL-17; IL-23R; RORc; Th17 cells; glucocorticoids; multiple sclerosis

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2009


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