Immunological markers in multiple sclerosis

M. Gironi, A. Bergami, E. Brambilla, F. Ruffini, R. Furlan, G. Comi, G. Martino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is characterized by the presence in the central nervous system (CNS) of perivascular inflammatory infiltrates containing, among others, autoreactive T cells and activated macrophages. These observations indicate that MS is a T cell-mediated CNS-confined chronic inflammatory demyelinating disease in which the ultimate effector cell is the activated macrophage. The inflammatory process, leading to patchy demyelination and axonal loss, is mainly sustained by pro-inflammatory cytokines that, along with chemokines, adhesion molecules and metalloproteases, modulate at different levels the pathogenic process underlying MS. Due to their central role in MS pathogenesis, "inflammatory" molecules might represent suitable peripheral markers of disease (disease-trait) and/or disease activity (state-trait). However, reliable disease-trait or state-trait immunological markers for MS have not yet been identified. The intrinsic characteristics of these molecules (i.e. autocrine/paracrine activity, short half-life, redundancy) may in part explain their inconsistency as disease markers. Additionally, the unreliability of methodologies and the lack of careful patient stratification can also, at least in part, account for the unsatisfactory results so far obtained.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNeurological Sciences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Adhesion molecules
  • Chemokines
  • Cytokines
  • Disease-trait markers
  • Metalloproteases
  • State-trait markers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Neuroscience(all)


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