First trimester interleukin 8 levels are associated with postpartum relapse in multiple sclerosis
Pregnancy has an ameliorating effect on multiple sclerosis (MS), but directly after delivery the risk of a relapse is increased. The pro-inflammatory chemokine interleukin 8 is associated with disease activity. We aimed to investigate whether pregnancy-induced fluctuations of interleukin 8 correlate with periods of enhanced and diminished disease activity. Thirty-six women with MS were prospectively studied before, during and after pregnancy. Serum levels of interleukin 8 were significantly decreased during the third trimester (p = 0.03). High first trimester serum levels of interleukin 8 were associated with a high risk of postpartum relapse (p = 0.007). These results help us to further understand the altered disease course during pregnancy.