B cells reactive Against CNS targets in MS

Kuerten S, Pommerschein G, Barth SK, Hohmann C, Milles B, Sammer FW, Duffy CE, Wunsch M, Rovituso DM, Schroeter M, Addicks K, Kaiser CC, Lehmann PVIdentification of a B cell-dependent subpopulation of multiple sclerosis by measurements of brain-reactive B cells in the blood.Clin Immunol. 2014 Mar 5. pii: S1521-6616(14)00051-5. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2014.02.014. [Epub ahead of print]

B cells are increasingly coming into play in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS). Here, we screened peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from patients with clinically isolated syndrome (CIS), MS, other non-inflammatory neurological, inflammatory neurological or autoimmune diseases, and healthy donors for their B cell reactivity to CNS antigen using the enzyme-linked immunospot technique (ELISPOT) after 96h of polyclonal stimulation. Our data show that nine of 15 patients with CIS (60.0%) and 53 of 67 patients with definite MS (79.1%) displayed CNS-reactive B cells, compared to none of the control donors. The presence of CNS-reactive B cells in the blood of the majority of patients with MS or at risk to develop MS along with their absence in control subjects suggests that they might be indicative of a B cell-dependent subpopulation of the disease

The enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot (ELISPOT) assay is a common method for monitoring immune responses. The ELISPOT assay is based on, and was developed from a modified version of the ELISA immunoassay. ELISPOT assays were originally developed to enumerate B cells secreting antigen-specific antibodies. Simply put, at appropriate conditions the ELISPOT assay allows visualization of the secretory product of individual activated or responding cells. Each spot that develops in the assay represents a single reactive cell. Thus, the ELISPOT assay provides both qualitative (type of immune protein) and quantitative (number of responding cells) information. This study shows that MSers have more CNS-reactive B cells than healthy people.

This could because MSers have damage to the CNS and the release of CNS proteins allows an antibody response to generate. Alternatively this could because they are part of the disease process. This is in my mind part of the problem in MS.