Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory, demyelinating disease of the central nervous system that is believed to have an autoimmune etiology. As MS is the most common nontraumatic disease that causes disability in young adults, extensive research has been devoted to identifying therapeutic targets. In this review, we discuss the current understanding derived from studies of patients with MS and animal models of how specific cytokines produced by autoreactive CD4 T cells contribute to the pathogenesis of MS. Defining the roles of these cytokines will lead to a better understanding of the potential of cytokine-based therapies for patients with MS.

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