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More MS news articles for February 2003

Reactive astrocytes in chronic active lesions of multiple sclerosis express co-stimulatory molecules B7-1 and B7-2

J Neuroimmunol 2003 Feb;135(1-2):166-71
Zeinstra E, Wilczak N, De Keyser J.
Department of Neurology, University Hospital Groningen, Hanzeplein 1, 9713 GZ, Groningen, The Netherlands

Astrocytes in active lesions of multiple sclerosis (MS) express major histocompatibility (MHC) class II molecules, and may play an important role in the presentation of antigen to myelin-specific T cells.

However, it has been postulated that astrocytes are unable to act as antigen-presenting cells (APCs) because they would lack the B7 co-stimulatory molecules to activate these T cells.

By using double labeling immunofluorescence staining, we demonstrate that reactive astrocytes in chronic active plaques of multiple sclerosis express the co-stimulatory molecules B7-1 and B7-2, and hence have the necessary attributes to act as antigen-presenting cells.