Serum levels of CXCL13 are elevated in active multiple sclerosis

Mult Scler. 2009 Nov;15(11):1271-9. doi: 10.1177/1352458509107017. Epub 2009 Oct 5.


There is increasing recognition of the important role that B cells play in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS). Recently it was reported that the B cell chemokine CXCL13 is elevated in MS serum and cerebrospinal fluid. Here we study whether serum levels of CXCL13 are associated with active MS. We measured serum levels of CXCL13 by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in 74 patients with relapsing MS randomized to interferon beta 1b or glatiramer acetate and examined with monthly 3 T brain MRI scans optimized for detection of gadolinium-enhancement for up to 2 years. The median (range) serum levels of CXCL13 pre-treatment were 40 (3-171) pg/ml. Serum levels of CXCL13 were significantly higher at times of active brain MRI scans (p < 0.01). Furthermore, serum levels were higher in patients who never reached MRI remission compared with those in complete (p < 0.01) or partial (p = 0.01) remission. There was a significant positive correlation between the pattern of serum levels of CXCL13 and MRI activity during the first (r = 0.33, p < 0.05) and the full 2 years (r = 0.35, p < 0.01) of the study. Treatment with interferon beta 1b or glatiramer acetate did not affect serum CXCL13. We conclude that the serum levels of the B cell chemokine CXCL13 are associated with active MS.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • B-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Brain / pathology
  • Chemokine CXCL13 / blood*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Glatiramer Acetate
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Interferon Type I / therapeutic use
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / blood*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / diagnosis
  • Multiple Sclerosis / pathology
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Observer Variation
  • Peptides / therapeutic use
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Young Adult


  • Chemokine CXCL13
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Interferon Type I
  • Peptides
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Glatiramer Acetate