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J Neuroimmunol. 2006 Nov;180(1-2):185-92. Epub 2006 Oct 4.

Frequency analysis of HLA-B7-restricted Epstein-Barr virus-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes in patients with multiple sclerosis and healthy controls.

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Clinical Research Group for Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology, Department of Neurology, Julius-Maximilians Universität Würzburg, 97080 Würzburg, Germany.


The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS), however, the mechanisms by which EBV may be involved in MS are unknown. We here have investigated the frequency of EBV-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) in human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-B7(+) patients with MS and healthy controls using enzyme-linked immunospot assays and seven previously characterized HLA-B7-restricted immunogenic EBV peptides. Overall, there were no significant differences in the frequency of EBV-specific CTL between both groups. These data do not support the hypothesis that EBV could play a role in MS by inducing quantitatively altered EBV-specific CTL responses. Other pathogenic mechanisms for EBV in MS remain to be elucidated.

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