September 24, 2003
Boston Cure Project
Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6), particularly the HHV-6A variant, has been
found in the brains and the serum of people with MS (see this interview
for more information) and therefore is suspected of playing a role in MS.
To investigate how the virus might be involved in MS, a group of scientists
studied whether T cells infected with HHV-6 might be harmful to oligodendrocytes.
They found that substances emitted by T cells infected with HHV-6 increased
the level of cell death in oligodendrocytes (but not in astrocytes). Moreover,
6A-infected T cells had a stronger effect than 6B-infected cells. Removal
of viral particles and proteins did not reverse the loss of oligodendrocytes.
This suggests that HHV-6A may be toxic to oligodendrocytes, not directly
but rather through its effect on T cells.
Copyright © 2003, Boston Cure Project