Fingolimod treatment significantly reduced levels of C-X-C motif chemokine 5 (CXCL5) in the serum, found a new study published in the journal Northern Clinics Of Istanbul. CXCL5 levels can, therefore, not be used as diagnostic or prognostic biomarkers in patients who are under long-term treatment with fingolimod.

“However, whether serum/[cerebrospinal fluid] measurements of CXCL5 levels in treatment-naïve patients may exhibit a biomarker quality still tends to be assessed,” the researchers wrote. 

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The study team set out to determine whether serum levels of CXCL5 may serve as a diagnostic biomarker and a marker to predict response to treatment in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).

They evaluated the levels of CXCL5 in the serum of 20 patients with RRMS who were being treated with fingolimod, 10 patients with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD), 14 healthy controls, and 15 patients with RRMS who predominantly presented with spinal cord and optic nerve attacks (MS-SCON).

They found that the levels of CXCL5 were significantly higher in the serum of healthy controls compared to patients with NMOSD and patients with MS-SCON. However, there was no difference in the levels of CXCL5 between the 2 groups of patients. Moreover, levels of CXCL5 did not correlate with the number of attacks, Expanded Disability Status Scale score, or disease duration.

The researchers also found no differences in the levels of CXCL5 in patients with RRMS in the washout period and healthy controls, and the levels of CXCL5 significantly decreased following treatment with fingolimod. 

Finally, CXCL5 levels were significantly lower in patients with RRMS posttreatment compared to healthy controls, and there was no difference in the CXCL5 levels between patients who responded to treatment and those who did not.

“Serum CXCL5 measurement does not differentiate between RRMS and NMOSD,” the researchers concluded.”


Karaaslan Z, Yilmaz V, Yuceer H, et al. Serum CXCL5 as a biomarker in multiple sclerosis and neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder. North Clin Istanb. Published online June 19, 2023. doi:10.14744/nci.2022.77861