Interleukin-8 is associated with acute and persistent dysfunction after optic neuritis

S. Rossi, C. Motta, V. Studer, C. Rocchi, G. Macchiarulo, F. Barbieri, G. A. Marfia, R. Furlan, G. Martino, R. Mancino, D. Centonze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Acute optic neuritis is often in association with multiple sclerosis (MS). Proinflammatory cytokines trigger neuronal damage in neuroinflammatory disorders but their role in optic neuritis is poorly investigated. Objective: The objective of this work is to investigate the associations of intrathecal contents of proinflammatory cytokines with transient and persistent dysfunctions after optic neuritis. Methods: In 50 MS patients followed for up to six months, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) levels of IL-1β, TNF and IL-8 were determined, along with clinical, neurophysiological and morphological measures of optic neuritis severity. Results: Visual impairment, measured by high- and low-contrast visual acuity, and delayed visual-evoked potential (VEP) latencies were significantly correlated to IL-8 levels during optic neuritis. IL-8 at the time of optic neuritis was also associated with persistent demyelination and final axonal loss, inferred by VEP and optical coherence tomography measures, respectively. Contents of IL-8 were correlated to functional visual outcomes, being higher among patients with incomplete recovery. Multivariate analysis confirmed that IL-8 significantly predicted final visual acuity, at equal values of demographics and baseline visual scores. Conclusion: Our study points to IL-8 as the main inflammatory cytokine associated with demyelination and secondary neurodegeneration in the optic nerve after optic neuritis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1841-1850
Number of pages10
JournalMultiple Sclerosis Journal
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - Dec 16 2014


  • Cerebrospinal fluid
  • IL-8
  • inflammation
  • multiple sclerosis
  • OCT
  • visual-evoked potentials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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