More MS news articles for Apr 2002

T cells, cytokines, and autoantigens in multiple sclerosis

Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep 2001 May;1(3):263-70
Gran B, Rostami A.
Department of Neurology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 3400 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-4283, USA.

In multiple sclerosis (MS), inflammatory demyelination in the central nervous system is thought to be initiated by T cells that recognize myelin antigens.

T cells are the main regulators of acquired immunity and are involved in the pathogenesis of several organ-specific autoimmune diseases.

This review provides an overview of recent studies on the role of T cells in autoimmune demyelination.

Because autoreactive T cells are normally present in the mature repertoire of T cells in the blood and lymphoid organs of MS patients, but also in normal controls, particular attention is devoted to the mechanisms of activation and the functional phenotype of such T cells in patients with MS.

The role of cytokines as effector molecules and the main candidate antigens are also discussed.