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More MS news articles for September 2003

Alpha B-crystallin is not a dominant peripheral T-cell autoantigen in multiple sclerosis amongst Sardinians

Eur J Neurol. 2003 Sep;10(5):583-586
Sotgiu S, Pugliatti M, Contu S, Sanna A, Sgaramella E, VanNoort JM, Rosati G.
Institute of Clinical Neurology, University of Sassari, Viale San Pietro, Sassari, Italy; Department of Neurosurgery, University of Sassari, Via De Nicola, Sassari, Italy; and Division of Immunological and Infectious Diseases, TNO Prevention and Health, Leiden, The Netherlands.

The heat shock protein alpha B-crystallin appears to be the dominantly recognized autoantigen in the early demyelinative process of multiple sclerosis (MS) in brain of patients.

In Sardinia, MS is linked to human leucocyte antigen (HLA)-DR alleles that might influence the production of cytokines from peripheral lymphocytes.

We tested the nature of peripheral anti-alpha B-crystallin-specific T-cell response in the context of predisposing HLA haplotypes both in MS patients and healthy controls.

The alpha B-crystallin specific T-cell lines were generated by using the 'split-well' technique.

The results indicate that the presence of short-term T-cell lines towards alpha B-crystallin is numerically comparable between the two groups and not restricted to MS-predisposing HLA-DR alleles.

As for the T-cell characterization, CD4+ anti-alpha B-crystallin T cells secreting high levels of interferon-gamma are similarly identified in MS and healthy donors.

In conclusion, the peripheral response towards the myelin antigen alpha B-crystallin is neither quantitatively nor qualitatively peculiar to MS, in contrast to the theoretical paradigm suggesting peripheral activation of myelin-reactive T cells to be the prerequisite for MS induction.