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J Neurovirol. 2004 Feb;10(1):52-6.

Cerebrospinal fluid T cells from multiple sclerosis patients recognize autologous Epstein-Barr virus-transformed B cells.

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Institute of Immunology, Rikshospitalet University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.


The association between multiple sclerosis and Epstein-Barr virus infection could involve Epstein-Barr virus-specific T cells, provided that these T cells get access to the intrathecal compartment. We report that CD4+ T cells from the cerebrospinal fluid of six out of six multiple sclerosis patients, and four out of six patients with other neurological diseases, recognized autologous B cells transformed with Epstein-Barr virus. The cerebrospinal fluid T-cell responses were predominantly HLA-DR restricted. These T cells did not recognize B cells activated through stimulation of CD40 or the inducible autoantigen alphaB crystalline. These findings support that the immunological response to Epstein-Barr virus could contribute to the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis.

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