Interleukin-22 May Be Biomarker to Monitor How Well RRMS Patients Respond to Therapy


The levels of the inflammatory molecule interleukin-22 (IL-22) may be used as a potential biomarker to evaluate disease severity and the effectiveness of treatments in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), a new study shows.

The study, “Impact of interferon β-1b, interferon β-1a and fingolimod therapies on serum interleukins-22, 32α and 34 concentrations in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis,” was published in the Journal of Neuroimmunology.

IL-22, IL-32α, and IL-34 are three different cytokines that have been detected in patients with various inflammatory diseases, and are thought to have either pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory properties. However, very few studies have investigated the role of these cytokines in MS.

So, researchers conducted a study to evaluate the levels of IL-22, IL-32α, and IL-34 in the serum (a component of blood) of RRMS patients, and to assess how well these cytokines correlate with the level of MS-associated disability — evaluated through the expanded disability status score (EDSS).

Furthermore, researchers assessed the changes in these interleukins after treatment with three disease-modifying therapies: interferon beta-1b (Betaferon/Betaseron, marketed by Bayer; Extavia, marketed by Novartis), interferon beta-1a (Avonex, sold by Biogen; Rebif, marketed by EMD Serono), and fingolimod (Gilenya, by Novartis).

Results showed a higher concentration of IL-22, but not IL-32α or IL-34, in untreated patients with RRMS compared to healthy individuals.

Interestingly, treatments with both types of interferon and Gilenya led to a significant decrease in levels of IL-22 and IL-32α, but not IL-34, after six and 12 months of treatment, compared to their initial concentrations before starting treatment.

Further analysis revealed that the levels of serum IL-22 and — to a lesser extent — IL-32α were correlated positively with the EDSS score. Those results suggest that the lower the IL-22 levels, the lower the disability score.

That’s why the team believes that IL-22 can be used as a tool to monitor how well patients are responding to treatment.

“IL-22 and, to a lesser extent IL-32α, may be potential marker for MS disease severity and efficacy of DMDs [disease-modifying drugs]. Meanwhile, there is no relation between the therapeutic mechanism of the used DMDs and the concentration of IL-34 in the blood circulation,” the researchers wrote.

Source: https://multiplesclerosisnewstoday.c...ple-sclerosis/