O'Connell KE, Mok T, Sweeney B, Ryan AM, Dev KK.The use of cytokine signature patterns: separating drug naïve, interferon and natalizumab-treatedmultiple sclerosis patients. Autoimmunity. 2014 Jun 30:1-7. [Epub ahead of print]
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory illness characterized by demyelination and axonal neurodegeneration. Here, we used serum samples from MS patients to demonstrate if "cytokine signature" patterns can separate different patient groups better than using single cytokines. In this case, we used cytokine profiling to demonstrate if "cytokine signature" patterns can separate MS patients treated with interferon or natalizumab from drug naïve patients. Serum levels of eight individual cytokines (TNFα, IFNγ, S100B, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-17 and IL-23) in MS patients treated with interferons (n = 11) and natalizumab (n = 14) were measured and, in general, showed reduced levels compared to drug naïve MS patients (n = 12). More evident changes were seen when analyzing "cytokine signatures" (i.e. summed value of all eight cytokines), which showed that patients treated with natalizumab and interferons showed significantly reduced cytokine signature levels than drug naïve MS patients. Moreover, patients treated with natalizumab were separated from drug naïve patients by almost 100% fidelity and that patients treated with natalizumab also had reduced levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines compared to patients treated with interferon. Overall, this study provides an example showing that the use of "cytokine signatures" may provide benefits over the analysis of single cytokines for the development of potential biomarkers.