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More MS news articles for April 2004

Increased CD8+ cytotoxic T cell responses to myelin basic protein in multiple sclerosis

J Immunol. 2004 Apr 15;172(8):5120-7
Zang YC, Li S, Rivera VM, Hong J, Robinson RR, Breitbach WT, Killian J, Zhang JZ.
Multiple Sclerosis Research Unit, Department of Neurology and Baylor Multiple Sclerosis Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA

Autoreactive T cells of CD4 and CD8 subsets recognizing myelin basic protein (MBP), a candidate myelin autoantigen, are thought to contribute to and play distinct roles in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS).

In this study we identified four MBP-derived peptides that had high binding affinity to HLA-A2 and HLA-A24 and characterized the CD8(+) T cell responses and their functional properties in patients with MS.

There were significantly increased CD8(+) T cell responses to 9-mer MBP peptides, in particular MBP(111-119) and MBP(87-95) peptides that had high binding affinity to HLA-A2, in patients with MS compared with healthy individuals.

The resulting CD8(+) T cell lines were of the Th1 phenotype, producing TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma and belonged to a CD45RA(-)/CD45RO(+) memory T cell subset.

Further characterization indicated that the CD8(+) T cell lines obtained were stained with MHC class I tetramer (HLA-A2/MBP(111-119)) and exhibited specific cytotoxicity toward autologous target cells pulsed with MBP-derived peptides in the context of MHC class I molecules.

These cytotoxic CD8(+) T cell lines derived from MS patients recognized endogenously processed MBP and lysed COS cells transfected with genes encoding MBP and HLA-A2.

These findings support the potential role of CD8(+) CTLs recognizing MBP in the injury of oligodendrocytes expressing both MHC class I molecules and MBP.