Background and purpose: Data suggest that adipocytokines and natural regulatory T (nTreg) cells play a pivotal role in the immunopathogenesis of multiple sclerosis and the associated inflammation. The purpose of this study was to evaluate selected adipocytokines and nTreg cells and to assess their relationship with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).
Material and methods: The study was conducted among 25 patients with RRMS and 25 healthy individuals. Blood samples were collected within two weeks after the beginning of acute relapse of RRMS. The body mass index (BMI) of each patient was calculated. Serum adipocytokine concentrations were determined by ELISA and nTreg cells were evaluated using multicolour flow cytometry.
Results: Patients and controls had similar BMI, regardless of gender. Significantly higher leptin and resistin levels and significantly lower adiponectin levels were found in patients with RRMS in comparison to the control group (p < 0.0001). The percentage of nTreg cells (p < 0.01) and the mean fluorescence channel (MFC) of FoxP3 were significantly reduced in patients with RRMS (p < 0.001). There was an inverse correlation be-tween leptin concentration and MFC of the transcription factor Foxp3 nTreg in patients with RRMS (r = -0.7, p < 0.05).
Conclusions: Proinflammatory adipocytokine profile and decreased percentage of nTreg cells suggest their implication in the inflammatory response in RRMS regardless of corticosteroid therapy. The correlation between leptin and the MFC of the transcription factor Foxp3 in nTreg cells in patients with RRMS suggests its inhibitory effect on FoxP3 expression.