To clarify the Th1/Th2 balance in spinal cord inflammation, we used ELISA to measure the total and allergen-specific IgE in 69 patients with clinically definite multiple sclerosis (MS), including 24 patients with the optico-spinal form of MS, 45 with HAM/TSP, 30 HTLV-I carriers without HAM/TSP, 40 patients with acute myelitis, 43 with neurodegenerative disorders, and 42 healthy subjects, and flow cytometry to study the intracellular IFNγ-positive versus IL-4-positive cell ratio (intracellular IFNγ/IL-4 ratio) in peripheral blood CD4+ T cells in 40 patients with MS, including 17 patients with the optico-spinal form of MS, 23 with HAM/TSP, 22 with acute myelitis, 23 with neurodegenerative disorders, and 36 healthy subjects. Patients with HAM/TSP showed a significantly higher intracellular IFNγ/IL-4 ratio, lower IL-4+/IFN-γ- cell percentages, lower total IgE level, and lower frequency of cedar pollen-specific IgE than did the controls. The patients with optico-spinal MS showed a significantly higher intracellular IFNγ/IL-4 ratio and higher IL-4-/IFN-γ+ cell percentages than the controls even at remission or in the convalescence phase. In contrast, in the patients with acute myelitis, the total serum IgE level and the frequency of mite antigen-specific IgE were significantly elevated in comparison to the controls, while those having mite antigen-specific IgE myelitis showed a significantly lower IFNγ/IL-4 ratio in the CD4+ T cells in comparison to the controls. These findings suggest that the Th1 cell response is predominant in HAM/TSP and optico-spinal MS, whereas the Th2 cell response is predominant in mite antigen-specific IgE myelitis. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology