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.

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Multiple Sclerosis: clinical and laboratory research
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Neuteboom, R., Verbraak, E., Voerman, J., van Meurs, M., Steegers-Theunissen, R., de Groot, C., … Hintzen, R. (2009). First trimester interleukin 8 levels are associated with postpartum relapse in multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis: clinical and laboratory research, 15(11), 1356–1358. doi:10.1177/1352458509107009