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Keywords:

  • multiple sclerosis;
  • Leukotriene B4;
  • cysteinyl-leukotrienes

Objectives– The role of leukotrienes (LTs) in the pathophysiology of multiple sclerosis (MS) has been controversially discussed in the past. Studies of LTs in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) revealed different results mainly because of analytical difficulties. Material and methods– In the present study we used highly sensitive and specific analytical methods for measuring LTs in the CSF as well as in urine samples from 20 patients with active MS and 20 control patients with noninflammatory neurological disorders. Results– LTB4 concentrations in CSF were almost twice as high in MS patients compared with controls (< 0.001). CSF concentrations of the cysteinyl-LTs (LTC4, LTD4 and LTE4) as well as urinary LTE4 showed no significant differences compared with controls (> 0.05). In addition, there was no significant association between CSF pleocytosis, clinical severity or time of disease onset. Conclusions– The increased concentration of LTB4 in the CSF of MS patients may indicate a biological importance for this mediator in MS.