Increased levels of IL-15 mRNA in relapsing--remitting multiple sclerosis attacks

J Neuroimmunol. 2002 Jul;128(1-2):90-4. doi: 10.1016/s0165-5728(02)00146-7.


IL-15 is a proinflammatory cytokine which has recently been implicated in multiple sclerosis (MS) pathogenesis, where it may play a role in the initiation and/or progression of the disease. We have used reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to study IL-15 mRNA levels in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from healthy controls and relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) patients in a stable phase of the disease and during a bout, both before and after corticosteroid treatment (CST). IL-15 mRNA expression was found to be similar in controls and stable patients. We have detected an increased level of IL-15 mRNA in PBMC of patients with a relapse, which was maintained after CST. We have also found an inverse correlation between PBMC IL-15 mRNA levels at the onset of the relapse and the time elapsed since the previous attack, as well as an absence of correlation between IL-15 mRNA levels and the patient demographic and clinical characteristics. Results in the present work further suggest a role for IL-15 in MS pathophysiology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Adult
  • Central Nervous System / immunology
  • Central Nervous System / metabolism
  • Central Nervous System / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-15 / genetics*
  • Interleukin-15 / immunology*
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / immunology
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / metabolism
  • Male
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / blood*
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / genetics
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / immunology*
  • RNA, Messenger / blood*
  • Recurrence
  • Up-Regulation / immunology*


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Interleukin-15
  • RNA, Messenger