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J Neurol Sci. 2008 Nov 15;274(1-2):39-41. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2008.03.022. Epub 2008 May 12.

The effects of natalizumab on the innate and adaptive immune system in the central nervous system.

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  • 1Neurology Section, VA North Texas Health Care System, Medical Service, Dallas, TX 75216, USA.


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory demyelinating disorder of the central nervous system (CNS). Natalizumab ((R)Tysabri) is a humanized recombinant monoclonal antibody that binds to the alpha (alpha)(4) chain of the alpha(4) beta (beta)(1) integrin (very late activation antigen 4; VLA-4), and alpha(4)beta(7) integrin. Recently, two patients with MS and one patient with Crohn's disease who were treated with natalizumab in the setting of clinical trials developed progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), an opportunistic infection of the brain with the polyoma virus JC. We recently showed that natalizumab decreases the numbers of CD4(+) and CD8(+) T lymphocytes, CD19(+) B cells, and CD138(+) plasma cells in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients with MS on natalizumab therapy. In addition, we demonstrated that the cell numbers in CSF remained unchanged even 6 months after cessation of natalizumab treatment.

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