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Decreased Endothelin-1 Plasma Levels in Multiple Sclerosis Patients: A Possible Factor of Vascular Dysregulation?

Irmina Jankowska- Lech, Barbara Terelak-Borys, Iwona Grabska- Liberek, Witold Palasik, Wojciech Bik, Ewa Wolińska-Witort

Department of Ophthalmology, Medical Centre for Postgraduate Education, Warsaw, Poland

Med Sci Monit 2015; 21:1066-1071

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.890899

Available online:

Published: 2015-04-13

Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a demyelinating autoimmune disease of the central nervous system with possible involvement of vascular dysregulation secondary to endothelial dysfunction caused by destruction of the vessel wall. Vascular dysregulation leads to excessive vasoconstriction or insufficient vasodilatation, resulting in vasospasm mediated by endothelin-1 (ET-1), the most potent and long-lasting mediator. Vascular dysregulation can play an important role in the pathogenesis of some eye disorders and it has been hypothesized that it is a vascular risk factor for glaucomatous optic neuropathy. The aim of this study was to estimate endothelin-1 (ET-1) plasma levels in patients with MS.
Material and Methods: The MS group consisted of 39 patients (9 males, 30 females), mean age: 38.8±10.02 years, range: 22–62. The control group consisted of 27 healthy volunteers (3 males and 24 females), mean age: 37.4±10.88 years, range: 20–62; clinically, in a non-active stage of the disease. ET-1 plasma levels were measured using the Endothelin-1 ELISA Kit (Immuno-Biological Laboratories Co., Japan). Statistical analysis was performed with the nonparametric Mann-Whitney U test for independent groups.
Results: Endothelin-1 (ET-1) plasma levels were significantly lower in MS patients compared to healthy controls: mean value 0.55±0.44 pg/ml (146.05±118.27 fmol/ml) vs. 0.95±0.48 pg/ml (252.83±127.16 fmol/ml); P=0.012.
Conclusions: Significantly decreased ET-1 plasma levels in the MS patients could reflect the non-active disease at the time of ET-1 measurements or the effects of immunomodulatory treatment, but it cannot be excluded that decreased ET-1 plasma levels in these patients might result from vascular dysregulation.

Keywords: Case-Control Studies, Adult, Endothelin-1 - blood, Multiple Sclerosis - blood, Vascular Diseases - blood, young adult