Clin Exp Immunol 2003 Jan;131(1):155-68
Van Der Aa A, Hellings N, Medaer R, Gelin G, Palmers Y, Raus J, Stinissen P.
Biomedisch onderzoeksinstituut (BIOMED), Limburgs Universitair Centrum, Diepenbeek, School of Life Sciences, Transnational University Limburg (tUL), Diepenbeek, and Department of Medical Imaging, Ziekenhuis Oost-Limburg, Genk, Belgium.
Myelin-reactive T cells are considered to play an essential role in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system.
We have previously studied the effects of T cell vaccination (TCV), a procedure by which MS patients are immunized with attenuated autologous myelin basic protein (MBP)-reactive T cell clones.
Because several myelin antigens are described as potential autoantigens for MS, T cell vaccines incorporating a broad panel of antimyelin reactivities may have therapeutic effects.
Previous reports have shown an accumulation of activated T cells recognizing multiple myelin antigens in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of MS patients.
We conducted a pilot clinical trial of TCV with activated CD4+ T cells derived from CSF in five MS patients (four RR, one CP) to study safety, feasibility and immune effects of TCV.
CSF lymphocytes were cultured in the presence of rIL-2 and depleted for CD8 cells.
After 5-8 weeks CSF T cell lines (TCL) were almost pure TCRalphabeta+CD4+ cells of the Th1/Th0 type.
The TCL showed reactivity to MBP, MOG and/or PLP as tested by Elispot and had a restricted clonality.
Three immunizations with irradiated CSF vaccines (10 million cells) were administered with an interval of 2 months.
The vaccinations were tolerated well and no toxicity or adverse effects were reported.
The data from this small open-label study cannot be used to support efficacy.
However, all patients remained clinically stable or had reduced EDSS with no relapses during or after the treatment.
Proliferative responses against the CSF vaccine were observed in 3/5 patients.
Anti-ergotypic responses were observed in all patients.
Anti-MBP/PLP/MOG reactivities remained low or were reduced in all patients.
Based on these encouraging results, we recently initiated a double-blind placebo-controlled trial with 60 MS patients to study the effects of TCV with CSF-derived vaccines in early RR MS patients.