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J Neuroimmunol. 2008 Mar;195(1-2):121-34. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2007.12.004. Epub 2008 Jan 30.

Isolation and characterization of CD8+ regulatory T cells in multiple sclerosis.

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Department of Neurology, Raúl Carrea Institute for Neurological Research, FLENI, Montañeses 2325, (1428) Buenos Aires, Argentina.


To investigate CD8+ regulatory T cell influence on multiple sclerosis development, peripheral blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) CD8+ T cell clones (TCCs) recognizing MBP(83-102) and MOG(63-87)-specific CD4+ T cells were isolated from 20 patients during acute exacerbations, 15 in remission and 15 controls. Blood and CSF CD8+ regulatory TCC cloning frequency decreased more during exacerbations than remissions or controls. Target cell pre-activation significantly enhanced CD8+ T granule-mediated cell killing of CD4+ targets, and was restricted by HLA-E. During exacerbations, killer-inhibitory receptor CD94/NKG2A expression was significantly higher in CD8+ TCCs, limiting their cytotoxic activity. Moreover, IL-15 and IFN-gamma significantly increased CD94 and NKG2A expression. These data provide evidence that CD94/NKG2A receptors play an important role in regulating T cell activity during the course of MS.

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