Author(s): Hu W, Dehmel T, Pirhonen J, Hartung HP, Kieseier BC, Hu W, Dehmel T, Pirhonen J, Hartung HP, Kieseier BC
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Interleukin (IL) 23, a newly identified heterodimeric proinflammatory cytokine and a novel IL-12 family member comprising the p40 subunit of IL-12 but a different p19 subunit, has been reported to preferentially act on memory T cells and play an important role during cellular immune responses. Recent evidence suggests that IL-23 rather than IL-12 is critically involved in the pathogenesis of various immune-mediated disorders. OBJECTIVE: To determine the role of IL-23p19 during the course of acute immune-mediated demyelinating diseases of the peripheral nervous system. DESIGN: The sequential RNA expression of IL-23p19 in sciatic nerves from rats with experimental autoimmune neuritis, an animal model of the human Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), was analyzed by semiquantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. Expression and distribution patterns of IL-23p19 protein were studied in sural nerve biopsies and cerebrospinal fluid samples from 5 patients with classical Guillain-Barré syndrome and 5 controls with noninflammatory neuropathies using immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting, respectively. RESULTS: We found IL-23p19 RNA to be up-regulated prior to the onset of first clinical symptoms with peak expression levels preceding maximum disease severity during experimental autoimmune neuritis. In patients, IL-23p19 protein was detectable in cerebrospinal fluid samples from patients with Guillain-Barré syndrome, and endoneurial macrophages were identified as the cellular source of IL-23p19 in sural nerve biopsies. CONCLUSION: Our present data indicate that IL-23 may play an important role during the early effector phase in immune-mediated demyelination of the peripheral nerve.
This article was published in Arch Neurol
and referenced in Journal of Multiple Sclerosis