Gene Expression Changes in Multiple Sclerosis Relapse Suggest Activation of T and Non-T Cells
A defining feature of multiple sclerosis (MS) is the occurrence of clinical relapses separated by periods of clinical stability. Better understanding of the events underlying clinical relapse might suggest new approaches to treatment. The objective of this study was to measure changes in the expression of RNA in the blood during relapse. We used microarrays to measure mRNA expression in paired samples from 14 MS patients during clinical relapse and while stable. Seventy-one transcripts changed expression at the P< 0.001 significance level. The most notable finding was decreased expression of transcripts with regulatory function, expressed primarily in non-T cells. These decreased transcripts included the interleukin-1 receptor antagonist, which had a corresponding decrease in the protein concentration in serum. Transcripts with increased expression were expressed primarily in T cells. Pathways analysis suggested involvement of the cytokine network, coagulation and complement cascades, IL-10 signaling and NF-κB signaling. We conclude that there are alterations of mRNA expression in both T cells and non-T cells during MS relapse.
We thank Landon Hatfield, Uffaf Khan, and the University of Texas-Houston Microarray Core Facility for technical assistance. This work was funded in part by the Clayton Foundation for Research.
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