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Oncostatin M (oncM) Spontaneous Production By Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells (PBMC) Is Increased In Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP)

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Pro-inflammatory cytokines provide key signals necessary for antigen stimulation of T-cells, inflammatory cell recruitment in the nerve, activation of cell-mediated effector mechanisms and directly alter neuroglial and neuronal cell survival and function. The involvement of oncM, a novel pleiotropic pro-inflammatory cytokine acting on cells of neural, vascular, hematopoietic and lymphoid origin, has not been investigated, to our knowledge, in CIDP. We have assessed oncM production by PBMC in 9 CIDP pts (5 M, 4 F; mean age: 64.4, range: 35–80), compared to 6 healthy controls (2 M, 4 F; mean age: 42.0, range: 31–54). We found that although mean spontaneous production of oncM in 72-hr PBMC cultures was not significantly different in CIDP compared to HC (HC 251.7 ± 34.5 pg/ml vs CIDP 331.5 ± 67.4 pg/ml; 2-tailed Student's t-test, p = 0.08), PBMC from active pts produced higher levels of oncM. Our results, although based on very small numbers, suggest that PBMC from CIDP patients spontaneously produce high levels of oncM during the active phases (relapse or progression). The evidence that CIDP PBMC are primed in vivo to produce and release high levels of inflammatory cytokines, such as oncM suggests the presence of a basal activation of the immune system which in turn may play an important role in the physiopathology of the disease. In addition to enhancing immune-mediated inflammatory processes, oncM might directly exert damaging effects on the blood-nerve barrier and on neural cell survival as well as on PNS plasticity, similar to what is hypothesized in multiple sclerosis. Thus, the increased production of oncM by immune cells may play a role in maintaining the complex circuitry of molecular and cellular interactions responsible of neurologic damage in CIDP.
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Document Type: Abstract

Affiliations: Neuroimmunology Unit, Dept. of Oncology and Neuroscience and Dept. of Medicine and Aging, University of Chieti, Italy.

Publication date: March 1, 2001

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