Multiple sclerosis is a disease characterized by perivascular infiltrates and demyelination of the white matter in the central nervous system. In this study, we compared the serum and cerebrospinal fluid nitric oxide levels before and after methylprednisolone therapy, and during remission period, and investigated the relationship of nitric oxide to the activity of multiple sclerosis. Cerebrospinal fluid and serum nitric oxide levels were measured blind as nitrite plus nitrate, using the nitrate reductase and Griess reaction method in 20 patients with multiple sclerosis before and after corticosteroid therapy, and during remission period, and in 20 control subjects. Mean cerebrospinal fluid and serum nitric oxide levels were highest in the pretreatment group and lowest in the control group. There was no correlation with nitric oxide levels in these two groups. Although corticosteroid therapy did not have any great effect on Expanded Disability Status Scales, it led to a decrease in nitric oxide levels. The possible cause of this might be the inhibition of nitric oxide synthesis by methylprednisolone, or a decrease in multiple sclerosis activity. We conclude that serum or cerebrospinal fluid nitric oxide levels do not reflect the activity in multiple sclerosis.