Autoimmun Rev. 2004 Jan;3(1):25-32
Achiron A, Mandel M.
Center for Multiple Sclerosis, Sheba Medical Center, Tel-Hashomer 52621, Israel.
T cells that are autoreactive against myelin antigens play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS).
The concept of T cell vaccination (TCV) has been developed to generate an immune response against these autoreactive pathogenic T cells.
Immunologic data accumulated so far demonstrates depletion of T cells reactive against immunodominant myelin peptides after immunization in the animal model of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, as well as in vaccinated MS patients.
Clinical trials have confirmed the safety and efficacy of TCV in a small number of immunized MS patients.
TCV resulted in reduced relapse rates and slowed the progression of neurological disability and MRI brain lesion load.
Recently, there have been several double-blind, placebo-controlled studies initiated to evaluate the role of TCV in MS.
Specifically, it is important to examine the effect of early TCV, given after the first episode suggestive of the disease, in order to prevent the process of epitope spreading.