Analysis of BAFF and TRAIL expression levels in multiple sclerosis patients: evaluation of expression under immunomodulatory therapy

Acta Neurol Scand. 2011 Jan;123(1):8-12. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0404.2010.01346.x.


Objectives: Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) and B cell-activating factor (BAFF), the members of tumor necrosis factor superfamily, play essential roles in immune homeostasis and may have potential contributions to the autoimmune process in multiple sclerosis (MS).

Material and methods: Thirty-five relapsing remitting MS (RRMS) patients and 19 healthy individuals were enrolled in the study. The expression of TRAIL on peripheral blood lymphocytes was analyzed by flow cytometry. The serum levels of soluble TRAIL (sTRAIL) and soluble BAFF (sBAFF) were determined by ELISA. Further, we evaluated the effect of IFN-β on sTRAIL, sBAFF levels and on TRAIL surface expression in these patients on the third and sixth months following the treatment.

Results and conclusion: These preliminary results signify that MS patients are heterogenous in TRAIL expression. Additionally, during the IFN-β treatment, the soluble form of TRAIL increases concomitantly as its surface expression decreases on lymphocytes. The basal sBAFF levels of patients were significantly higher than the control group and no significant change was observed. Thus, the changes in TRAIL expression may be a potential parameter indicating the response to IFN-β1 therapy at individual level.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • B-Cell Activating Factor / blood*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / methods
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors / therapeutic use*
  • Interferon-beta / therapeutic use*
  • Lymphocytes / drug effects*
  • Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / drug therapy
  • Multiple Sclerosis / metabolism*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / pathology
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand / blood*
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult


  • B-Cell Activating Factor
  • Immunologic Factors
  • TNF-Related Apoptosis-Inducing Ligand
  • TNFSF10 protein, human
  • TNFSF13B protein, human
  • Interferon-beta