Serum levels of soluble CD95 are not associated with amelioration of multiple sclerosis during pregnancy


  • S. Ehrlich
  • J. Haas
  • F. Zipp
  • C. Infante-Duarte


  • Journal of the Neurological Sciences


  • J Neurol Sci 252 (1): 83-87


  • Multiple sclerosis (MS) is considered an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system. Like various other autoimmune disorders, MS normally improves during pregnancy. Pregnant MS patients experience a significant reduction in relapse rates and magnetic resonance (MR) disease activity. How sex steroid hormones affect disease course remains unclear. We hypothesized that hormonal changes during pregnancy might modulate the autoimmune response by enhancing apoptosis of autoreactive T lymphocytes. One of the most important effectors of apoptosis in T cells is the CD95/CD95L system. We have previously reported that the soluble form of CD95 (sCD95) can block CD95-mediated apoptosis and that MS patients show elevated levels of sCD95. Therefore, we considered whether gravidity might influence serum levels of sCD95 in patients, and analyzed the concentration of sCD95 in the sera of 61 patients with relapsing-remitting (RR) MS before, during and after pregnancy. We found no association between serum levels of sCD95 and pregnancy-related immune suppression in MS patients. Thus, sex steroid hormones do not seem to affect the production of anti-apoptotic sCD95.