Introduction: Little is known about the role of cytokines in chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP). Interleukin (IL)-12 and IL-15 are the major growth and differentiation factors for Th-1 cells and IL-17 is a marker of Th-17 cell expansion and activation, a high proinflammatory new subset of T cells that induce severe autoimmunity.
Patients and methods: We measured by enzyme-like immunosorbent assay serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of IL-15, IL-12, and IL-17 in 24 patients with CIDP and 12 patients with other non-inflammatory neurological disorders and serum levels in 16 healthy subjects.
Results: We found a positive association of CSF IL-12 (P = 0·012) with CIDP presence (P<0·001).
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that IL-12 may be involved as potential marker of immune activation in CIDP. The increase in its levels in CSF may be a marker of initiation of Th-1 cell-mediated immunity.