Th1 and Th17 cells and associated cytokines discriminate among clinically isolated syndrome and multiple sclerosis phenotypes

Gabriel Arellano, Eric Acuña, Lilian I. Reyes, Payton A. Ottum, Patrizia De Sarno, Luis Villarroel, Ethel Ciampi, R. Uribe-San Martín, Claudia Cárcamo, Rodrigo Naves*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, inflammatory, and demyelinating disease of the central nervous system. It is a heterogeneous pathology that can follow different clinical courses, and the mechanisms that underlie the progression of the immune response across MS subtypes remain incompletely understood. Here, we aimed to determine differences in the immunological status among different MS clinical subtypes. Blood samples from untreated patients diagnosed with clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) (n = 21), different clinical forms of MS (n = 62) [relapsing-remitting (RRMS), secondary progressive, and primary progressive], and healthy controls (HCs) (n = 17) were tested for plasma levels of interferon (IFN)-γ, IL-10, TGF-β, IL-17A, and IL-17F by immunoanalysis. Th1 and Th17 lymphocyte frequencies were determined by flow cytometry. Our results showed that IFN-γ levels and the IFN-γ/IL-10 ratio were higher in CIS patients than in RRMS patients and HC. Th1 cell frequencies were higher in CIS and RRMS than in progressive MS, and RRMS had a higher Th17 frequency than CIS. The Th1/Th17 cell ratio was skewed toward Th1 in CIS compared to MS phenotypes and HC. Receiver operating characteristic statistical analysis determined that IFN-γ, the IFN-γ/IL-10 ratio, Th1 cell frequency, and the Th1/Th17 cell ratio discriminated among CIS and MS subtypes. A subanalysis among patients expressing high IL-17F levels showed that IL-17F and the IFN-γ/IL-17F ratio discriminated between disease subtypes. Overall, our data showed that CIS and MS phenotypes displayed distinct Th1- and Th17-related cytokines and cell profiles and that these immune parameters discriminated between clinical forms. Upon validation, these parameters might be useful as biomarkers to predict disease progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number753
JournalFrontiers in immunology
Issue numberJUN
StatePublished - Jun 30 2017


  • Biomarker
  • Clinical isolated syndrome
  • Cytokines
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Progressive multiple sclerosis
  • Relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis
  • Th1 cells
  • Th17 cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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