Friday, 6 November 2015

Myelin Activated T cells in MS

Arneth B. Early activation of CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes by myelin basic protein in subjects with MS. J Transl Med. 2015 Nov 2;13(1):341. doi: 10.1186/s12967-015-0715-6.

BACKGROUND: Multiple sclerosis is the most common autoimmune disorder affecting the central nervous system. In this study, whole blood samples were analyzed for activation capacity and the activatability of CD4+ and CD8+ T-lymphocytes by human total myelin basic protein (MBP), human MBP 104-118 fragment, and guinea pig MBP 68-82 fragment.
METHODS: Whole blood samples from healthy human subjects were compared with samples from patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). In particular, the expression of CD69, a surface marker of T-lymphocyte activity, was measured via flow cytometry before and after 14 h of incubation with human total MBP, MBP 104-118 fragment and/or guinea pig MBP 68-82 fragment. The results were compared between 15 patients with MS and 15 healthy subjects.
RESULTS: In response to all three MBP forms, CD4+ and CD8+ T-lymphocytes from patients with MS demonstrated greater activatability than those from healthy subjects. These results indicate that in patients with MS, latent pre-activation to MBP epitopes results in an increased activation capacity of T-lymphocytes.
CONCLUSION: This effect may occur because immunization against MBP (at least in a subset of patients) plays a pathophysiological role in MS pathogenesis. Alternatively, this result may represent a non-specific, bystander autoimmune phenomenon.

So this weekend we were showing data that showed autoimmunity but not to myelin. However is it the target problem for MS. I am not convinced it it but many people will dissagree with this view and in this study they looked in blood and stimulated T cells with myelin basic protein and found more activatability in people with MS than controls. Is this a cause or an effect as myelin peptides will have been released as a consequence of damage to CNS. 


  1. ... I suspect it would be a consequence of damage to the CNS and not a cause for if it were so current medications concentrated on stopping the T cells would be extremely effective ... The big question is to prove that is a consequence, or not...

    1. I agree. "T-lymphocytes from patients with MS demonstrated greater activatability...." "Activatability?" Do researchers have carte blanche in making up new words?
      Lymphocyte recruitment in the CNS is downstream in the pathology of MS. Disruption in the BBB is the initiating factor.

    2. Exactly Aidan, I remembered this study including sponsored by MD


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