Background and purpose: Fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) and platelet-derived growth factor-A (PDGF-AA) are potent modulators of oligodendrocytes, the main responsible cells for myelin regeneration. We measured FGF-2 and PDGF-AA in the sera and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RR-MS) and compared these values with control subjects.
Methods: Twenty-three patients with RR-MS and 23 subjects without inflammatory and demyelinating diseases were included. Serum samples of the patients were collected in both relapse and remission phases and were analyzed with ELISA method. CSF was drawn during the relapse period. Blood and CSF were drawn from control subjects for comparison. Wilcoxon and Mann–Whitney U-test and Spearman’s rank correlation were used for analysis. P values of <0.05 were considered significant.
Results: Age and sex distribution were similar in both groups. Serum values of FGF-2 were higher in relapse phase compared with remission phase, with a trend toward significance (P = 0.052). CSF PDGF-AA showed significant negative correlation with disease duration (correlation coefficient = −0.58, P = 0.004). Serum levels of PDGF did not differ between two phases significantly. There was no difference in serum and CSF values of these factors between patients and controls. When we compared patients with prolonged disease with controls, a significant difference between the CSF levels of PDGF-AA was observed (mean ± SEM 2.78 ± 0.8 in controls vs. 0.55 ± 0.29 in patients with MS ≥ 2 years, P < 0.05).
Conclusion: Our study was the first to show that CSF PDGF-AA is related to disease duration. Supporting previous findings we showed that serum and CSF levels of these factors are weak indicators of disease severity.