More MS news articles for May 2002

Elevated Bcl-X(L) levels correlate with T cell survival in multiple sclerosis

J Neuroimmunol 2002 May;126(1-2):213-20
Waiczies S, Weber A, Lunemann JD, Aktas O, Zschenderlein R, Zipp F.
Division of Neuroimmunology, Department of Neurology, Neuroscience Research Center, Charite University Hospital, Building 2680, Schumannstr. 20/21, 10117, Berlin, Germany

T cell resistance towards apoptotic elimination by activation-induced cell death (AICD) might be a crucial pathogenic feature of multiple sclerosis (MS).

Since the Bcl-2 family is critically involved in the regulation of apoptosis, we investigated the protein expression of Bcl-2, Bcl-X(L), and Bax in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of 23 MS patients and 29 control subjects.

An in vitro model of AICD, which exemplifies the elimination of antigen-reactive T cells in vivo, was used as an indication of T cell susceptibility or resistance towards apoptosis.

Increased expression of the survival factor Bcl-X(L), which directly correlated with a resistance towards AICD, was observed in peripheral immune cells of MS patients.

In contrast to Bcl-X(L), no differences were found in the protein expression of Bcl-2 and Bax between patients and controls.

Our data indicate that the anti-apoptotic factor Bcl-X(L), responsible for T cell resistance towards apoptosis, might be an important factor in the MS pathogenesis and a potential target for therapeutic intervention.