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More MS news articles for March 2004

Blood T-cell receptor {beta} chain transcriptome in multiple sclerosis. Characterization of the T cells with altered CDR3 length distribution

Brain. 2004 Feb 25
Laplaud DA, Ruiz C, Wiertlewski S, Brouard S, Berthelot L, Guillet M, Melchior B, Degauque N, Edan G, Brachet P, Damier P, Soulillou JP.
Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale (INSERM) Unite 437: 'Immunointervention dans les Allo- et Xenotransplantations', Institut de Transplantation et de Recherche en Transplantation (ITERT), CHU Hotel Dieu, 30 Bd Jean Monnet,C, 44093 Nantes Cedex 01, France; Clinique Neurologique and Centre d'Investigation Clinique, Hopital G. et R. Laennec, Bd J. Monod, 44093 Nantes Cedex 01, France.

Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory demyelinating disease of the CNS associated with T cells autoreactive for myelin components.

In this study, we analysed the T-cell receptor (TCR) usage of the variable beta (Vbeta) chain transcriptome in the blood of multiple sclerosis patients at various stages of the disease using a global and quantitative comparison of the complementarity-determining region 3 length distribution (CDR3-LD) of transcripts of the 26 Vbeta genes.

We investigated 35 patients: 12 with a high risk of multiple sclerosis, 10 with clinically definite multiple sclerosis, 13 with a relapsing-remitting worsening and active multiple sclerosis and 13 healthy individuals.

Cells bearing the TCR transcripts with altered CDR3-LD were sorted and studied for CD4 or CD8 phenotype, cytokine transcript accumulation and response to human myelin basic protein (MBP).

We show that patients from all the groups have a significantly skewed blood T-cell repertoire.

Vbeta transcriptome patterns were more altered in patients from the clinically definite multiple sclerosis group and the worsening and active multiple sclerosis group than in the high risk group.

The T cells sorted from Vbeta families with altered CDR3-LD concerned both CD4 and CD8 T cells, with a more pronounced skewing in the CD8 compartment.

These cells displayed a significantly increased level of interferon-gamma, interleukin-2 and tumour necrosis factor-alpha transcripts compared with their counterparts from the healthy individual group.

Furthermore, using interferon-gamma enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) assays, T cells from four out of seven altered Vbeta families tested from multiple sclerosis patients responded to human MBP, whereas no response was observed with human albumin or with altered Vbeta families from healthy individuals.

Our data support the concept of an early autoimmune component in the disease and emphasize the possible involvement of CD8-positive T cells in multiple sclerosis.