STAT5aandSTAT6gene expression levels in multiple sclerosis patients

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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a complex inflammatory, autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (CNS). The disease pathogenesis is not well defined yet. Cytokines have an important role in inflammation as characteristic feature of the disease. Janus kinase/signal transducers and activators of transcriptions (JAK/STAT) family promote cytokine-mediated cell activation. Failure in the JAK/STAT signaling pathway is associated with the pathological outcome in MS. In this study, we compared the expression levels of STAT5a and STAT6 genes in the blood of 50 relapsing-remitting MS (RR-MS) patients and 50 healthy controls by Taqman Quantitative Real-Time PCR in patients and healthy control group. We found that STAT5a expression was significantly down-regulated (p = .049), whereas STAT6 gene expression was significantly up-regulated (p = .046) in MS patients compared with controls. Moreover, there was significant correlation between the STAT6 gene expression and Kurtzke Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) criterion. However, no significant correlation was demonstrated between the expression of STAT5a gene and clinical findings. Furthermore, there was not significant correlation between expression levels of STAT5a and STAT6 genes. Our findings suggest that STAT5a and STAT6 dysregulation may have a critical role in modification of immune responses leading to imbalance between Th2- and Th1-related cytokines. However, the mechanisms underlying it still remain to be elucidated. Future studies are needed to explore the role of STAT5a and STAT6 as prognostic biomarkers in research, design of experimental therapies or clinical settings of the MS.

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