Alteration of plasma cytokines in patients with active epilepsy

Acta Neurol Scand. 2017 Jun;135(6):663-669. doi: 10.1111/ane.12665. Epub 2016 Sep 4.


Objective: Emerging evidence suggests that inflammatory cytokines are involved in pathophysiology of epilepsy. However, possible interaction between the cytokines and active epilepsy remains unclear. This study aimed to interictal and postictal plasma cytokines in active epilepsy patients.

Materials and methods: We enrolled 48 patients with active epilepsy and 30 healthy adults and measured postictal and interictal interleukin-1β (IL-1β), interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interferon gamma (IFN-γ), interleukin-10 (IL-10), and interleukin-17A (IL-17A) concentrations in peripheral blood by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).

Results: We found postictal and interictal concentrations of IL-6, IL-17A, and IFN-γ were significantly elevated in epilepsy patients compared with healthy controls. There were no significant postictal and interictal alterations of IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α, IFN-γ, IL-10, and IL-17A in patients with generalized seizures compared to those with partial seizures, in carbamazepine (CBZ)-treated patients compared to valproic acid (VPA)-treated patients or in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) patients compared to extra-temporal lobe epilepsy (eTLE) patients. Furthermore, multivariate linear regression analysis revealed that interictal IL-17A concentration positively correlated with National Hospital Seizure Severity Scale (NHS3) scores (B=0.092, P=.007) and seizure frequency (B=0.045, P=.000). Interictal IFN-γ concentration was also showed positively correlation with seizure frequency (B=0.019, P=.004).

Conclusions: Our data suggest that postictal and interictal various inflammatory cytokines are elevated in plasma of active epilepsy patients. Furthermore, interictal IL-17A and IFN-γ may predict seizure severity.

Keywords: active epilepsy; cytokine; plasma; seizure severity.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cytokines / blood*
  • Epilepsy / blood*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Cytokines