Cytokine Genes in Multiple Sclerosis

  • F. L. Sciacca
  • L. M. E. Grimaldi
Part of the Topics in Neuroscience book series (TOPNEURO)


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune/inflammatory disease of the central nervous system (CNS) resulting in polymorphic and unpredictable clinical manifestations. Although described as a clinical and pathological entity by Cruveilheir, Carswell and Charcot more than a century ago, its etiology is still obscure and many questions regarding its complex pathogenesis are still unanswered. Current views credit environmental factors, possibly infectious, for triggering MS in genetically susceptibile individuals. The nature of this genetic influence in MS has been the subject of intense studies: classic genetic observations have excluded the involvement of a single gene with full mendelian inheritance [1], both in susceptibility to and modulation of MS, as recently confirmed by full genome family-based studies [2–5]. Alternative to a monogenic hypothesis, polygenic inheritance was proposed for MS almost 50 years ago [6]. Multiple strategies, including full genome screening and association studies, have been employed to identify the discrete number of genes expected to be involved in the pathogenetic processes leading to MS.


Multiple Sclerosis Human Leukocyte Antigen Expand Disability Status Scale Human Leukocyte Antigen Class Experimental Allergic Encephalomyelitis 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. L. Sciacca
    • 1
  • L. M. E. Grimaldi
    • 1
  1. 1.Neuroimmunology Unit, Neuroscience DepartmentSan Raffaele Scientific InstituteMilanItaly

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