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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Serum cytokine levels in Bell's palsy.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the significance of the serum levels of the cytokines (interleukine (IL-6, IL-8, IL-1b, IL-2r, and tumor necrosis factor alpha ( TNF - alpha)) in the patients with Bell's palsy. STUDY DESIGN: A clinical and laboratory study in which serum cytokine levels were compared between the patients who had Bell's palsy and healthy controls. METHODS: Twenty-three patients with Bell's palsy and 30 healthy volunteers were included in the study. The blood samples of the patients and controls were obtained, and serum IL-1b, IL-2r, IL-6, IL-8, and TNF- alpha levels determined with chemiluminescence enzyme immunometric assay on an Immulite Immunoassay. The serum of the patients was taken between 2 days and 1 month after the disease. The assay was not in vitro lymphocyte stimulation. RESULTS: The IL-6, IL-8 and TNF- alpha levels were significantly higher in Bell's palsy than in controls (p < 0.05). The IL-1b and IL-2r levels were similar in both groups (p > 0.05). The levels of cytokine IL-6, IL-8, TNF- alpha, IL-1b, IL-2r did not correlate with the degree of recovery (p > 0.05). CONCLUSION: An alteration in the concentration of the cytokines is expected not only in many inflammatory and infectious diseases but also in Bell's palsy. Cytokines are not stored or preformed within cells. Therefore, high cytokine levels (IL-6 and IL-8, and TNF- alpha) should represent their production in response to underlying pathology in Bell's palsy, or these cytokines may be pathogenetic factors in Bell's palsy. However, serum levels of these cytokines do not help determine the prognosis in Bell's palsy as far as the results of this study are concerned.[1]


  1. Serum cytokine levels in Bell's palsy. Yilmaz, M., Tarakcioglu, M., Bayazit, N., Bayazit, Y.A., Namiduru, M., Kanlikama, M. J. Neurol. Sci. (2002) [Pubmed]
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