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PloS one

Polymorphonuclear Cell Functional Impairment in Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis Patients: Preliminary Data.


PMID 26121651

Abstract

Multiple Sclerosis patients run an increased risk of microbial infections, which leads to high rates of hospitalization and infection-related mortality. Although immunotherapy may increase infection risk in some cases, data as to the relationship among microbial factors, immunotherapy and alterations in the innate immunity of these patients are still scanty. On these grounds, this interdisciplinary study aims at investigating the role the functional activity of polymorphonuclear cells (PMNs) play in relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis at different stages. The in vitro ability of PMNs from patients, either untreated or treated with immunosuppressant or immunomodulatory drugs to kill Klebsiella pneumonia or Candida albicans, were investigated and compared to PMNs from healthy subjects. The release of various cytokines was also assessed, as was the production of reactive oxygen species and their ability to regulate apoptosis after microbial stimulation. Our results indicate that although patients have a normal number of PMNs, they have a statistically significant (p<0.05) reduction in intracellular killing activity. Although variations are strongly related to the therapeutic management of patients, they are independent from their disease stage. As no statistically significant differences were observed between patients and controls in cytokine release values, reactive oxygen species production or apoptosis, we came to the conclusion that other factors may be involved. Supportive validation of these results from further studies might well help in identifying a subset of patients at high risk of infection who could benefit from a closer follow-up and/or antibiotic prophylaxis.

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