Notable increased cerebrospinal fluid levels of soluble interleukin-6 receptors in neuromyelitis optica

Honghao Wang, Kai Wang, Xiaonan Zhong, Yongqiang Dai, Wei Qiu, Aimin Wu, Xueqiang Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Background: IL-6 is a proinammatory cytokine which is involved in the maintenance of the humoral response in various autoimmune disorders. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) IL-6 has shown to be increased in neuromyelitis optica (NMO). The soluble form of IL-6 receptor (sIL-6R), which links to IL-6, can activate biological responses in cells. Whether or not sIL-6R is altered in NMO has not been clarified. Objective: To measure CSF IL-6 and sIL-6R in NMO and multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, and investigate whether IL-6 and sIL-6R have possible uses as sensitive biomarkers for diseases activity. Methods: CSF concentrations of IL-6 and sIL-6R were measured by an ELISA in NMO (n = 22) and MS (n = 18) patients, as well as control subjects (n = 14). Results: The concentration of IL-6 levels were higher in NMO compared to MS (p = 0.032) and the controls (p = 0.023). The levels of sIL-6R were also higher in NMO compared to MS (p = 0.002) and the controls (p < 0.001). CSF sIL-6R was associated with an Expanded Disability Status Scale score in NMO (p = 0.005) but not in MS (p = 0.891). In the MS subgroup, sIL-6R concentrations were associated with CSF white blood cells (p = 0.034). Conclusions: Our study revealed that CSF sIL-6R was increased in NMO patients, and correlated with clinical presentations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-308
Number of pages5
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


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