Serum level of interleukin 12 in patients with multiple sclerosis

Hamidreza Jahanbani-ardakani,1,* Fereshteh alsahebfosoul,2 Masoud etemadifar,3

1. Isfahan University of Medical Sciences
2. Isfahan university of medical sciences
3. Department of Neurology, School of medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences



Multiple sclerosis (ms) is the most common chronic inflammatory, demyelinating and neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system in the young population with autoimmune pathophysiology. after trauma, ms is considered as the most common cause of disability in the world [1,2, 3, 4]. ms prevalence ranged from 5.2 to 335 per 100,000 individuals in different populations and its prevalence in iran varies from 5.3 to 74.28 per 100,000 among provinces [5, 6]. ms pathogenesis has been attributed to the interaction between genetic and environmental factors [7, 8]. pro-inflammatory mediators have a crucial role in ms pathogenesis. interleukin 12 (il12), a pro-inflammatory cytokine, produced mainly by antigen presenting cells and induce th1 cell differentiation from cd4þ naive t cells and also interferon c production [8]. previous studies indicated the pivotal role of il12 in different autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, uveitis and experimental autoimmune encephalitis (eae) [9, 10]. although several roles of il12 in ms pathogenesis have been described, studies investigating serum level of il12 in ms patients are controversial [11–14]. in the present study, we evaluated serum level of il12 in iranian ms patients.


Thirty-seven relapsing-remitting ms patients (including 33 female and 4 male) – who were referred to ms clinic of alzahra university hospital during the period of 2016–2017 – were recruited. all of the patients were diagnosed according to mcdonald’s criteria by an expert neurologist (m.e.). thirty-three age, sex and ethnicitymatched healthy individuals (including 24 female and 9male) were included in the study as the control group. blood sampling was performed between 10am and 11am to roll out the possible circadian rhythm of il12. before blood sampling, all of the patients provide a written consent form and protocol of the study was approved by ethics committee of isfahan university of medical sciences (id:293135). the il12 measurement was carried out by using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (elisa) technique using the available commercial kit (quantikine; r&d systems, minneapolis, mn, usa). to compare levels of il12 between groups, an independent t-test was used. data analysis were done by using spss software version 18 (spss inc., chicago, il, usa).


Mean age of ms patients and healthy individuals were 34 ± 7.79 and 34.21 ± 8.96 years, respectively. clinical and demographical features of patients and control group were presented in table 1. there was no significant difference in age and gender distribution between groups (p ¼ 0.916 and p ¼ 0.077, respectively). mean serum level of il12 in ms patients and control group were 23.13 ± 15.99 and 16.41 ± 9.91 pg/ml, respectively (p-value=0.037). further analysis showed higher serum level of il12 in eight ms patients who were suffering from migraine disease concurrently comparing with ms patients without any simultaneous disease (means 26.9 and 20.57, respectively, p ¼ 0.351). moreover, there were no significant correlation between il-12 levels and sex, age, edss and duration of disease.


To best of our knowledge, this is the first study demonstrating significantly higher serum level of il12 in iranian ms patients compared with healthy individuals.


Interleukin 12, multiple sclerosis, elisa