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April2010 Vol.47 Issue:        2        Table of Contents
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The Role of Pro-and Anti-Apoptotic Mediators in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis

Wael F. El-Beshlawy1, Manal Abd Allah2, Naglaa F. Ghoname3


Departments of Neuropsychiatry1, Clinical  Pathology2, Microbiology3, Tanta University; Egypt



Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic neurological disorder characterized by myelin destruction and a variable degree of oligodendrocyte death. Programmed cell death (apoptosis) is critical for the normal development and homeostasis of the immune system. Apoptosis of autoreactive T cells in the CNS is likely to be important in preventing the development of MS.  The death receptor (Fas) and its ligand (Fas-L) interaction results in activation-induced apoptosis and their abnormal expression together with nuclear factor (NF-кB) and Bcl-2 may be involved in the pathogenesis and the clinical course of MS.  Objective: This work aim at clarifying the role of pro- and anti-apoptotic mediators in pathogenesis of MS. Methods: We studied the level and expression of Fas, Fas-L, NF-кB and Bcl-2 using RT-PCR, morphological changes of apoptosis in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), DNA fragmentation in 24 patients with MS divided into 3 groups: in relapse, in remission and secondary progressive cases.  In addition, a group of 16 healthy cases served as controls. Results: We found that Fas & Fas-L were significantly decreased in patients with multiple sclerosis compared with healthy control subjects.  While NF-кB and Bcl-2 were significantly increased in patients compared with healthy control subjects. Also, DNA fragmentation showed significant decrease in patients versus control. Conclusion: Impaired apoptosis detected by Fas, Fas-L, NF-кB and Bcl-2 mediators and DNA fragmentation, play an important role in the pathogenesis of MS. (Egypt J Neurol Psychiat Neurosurg.  2010; 47(2): 261-266)


Key words: multiple sclerosis, pathogenesis, Apoptosis, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), DNA fragmentation, death receptor (Fas), nuclear factor (NF-кB), Bcl-2.  

Correspondence to Wael F. El-Beshlawy. Department of Neuropsychiatry, Tanta University; Egypt.. Tel: +20101476209. Email:

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