Obesity worsens central inflammation and disability in multiple sclerosis: Multiple Sclerosis Journal

M. Stampanoni Bassi, E. Iezzi, F. Buttari, L. Gilio, I. Simonelli, F. Carbone, T. Micillo, V. De Rosa, F. Sica, R. Furlan, A. Finardi, R. Fantozzi, M. Storto, P. Bellantonio, P. Pirollo, S. Di Lemme, A. Musella, G. Mandolesi, D. Centonze, G. Matarese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Previous studies evidenced a link between metabolic dysregulation, inflammation, and neurodegeneration in multiple sclerosis (MS). Objectives: To explore whether increased adipocyte mass expressed as body mass index (BMI) and increased serum lipids influence cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) inflammation and disease severity. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 140 consecutive relapsing-remitting (RR)-MS patients underwent clinical assessment, BMI evaluation, magnetic resonance imaging scan, and blood and CSF collection before any specific drug treatment. The CSF levels of the following cytokines, adipocytokines, and inflammatory factors were measured: interleukin (IL)-6, IL-13, granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor, leptin, ghrelin, osteoprotegerin, osteopontin, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, resistin, and Annexin A1. Serum levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol (TC), and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) were assessed. Results: A positive correlation emerged between BMI and Expanded Disability Status Scale score. Obese RR-MS patients showed higher clinical disability, increased CSF levels of the proinflammatory molecules IL-6 and leptin, and reduced concentrations of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-13. Moreover, both the serum levels of triglycerides and TC/HDL-C ratio showed a positive correlation with IL-6 CSF concentrations. Conclusion: Obesity and altered lipid profile are associated with exacerbated central inflammation and higher clinical disability in RR-MS at the time of diagnosis. Increased adipocytokines and lipids can mediate the negative impact of high adiposity on RR-MS course. © The Author(s), 2019.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1237-1246
Number of pages10
JournalMult. Scler. J.
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • adipocytokines
  • BMI
  • inflammation
  • multiple sclerosis
  • Obesity
  • serum lipid profile
  • ghrelin
  • granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor
  • high density lipoprotein cholesterol
  • interleukin 13
  • interleukin 6
  • leptin
  • lipocortin 1
  • osteopontin
  • osteoprotegerin
  • plasminogen activator inhibitor 1
  • triacylglycerol
  • adult
  • Article
  • body mass
  • cerebrospinal fluid
  • clinical assessment
  • clinical evaluation
  • controlled study
  • disease severity
  • Expanded Disability Status Scale
  • female
  • human
  • lipid blood level
  • lipid fingerprinting
  • lumbar puncture
  • major clinical study
  • male
  • nuclear magnetic resonance imaging
  • obesity
  • recurrent disease
  • total cholesterol level


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