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J Neuroimmunol. 2011 Jan;230(1-2):173-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2010.08.003. Epub 2010 Sep 9.

Epstein-Barr virus infection of human brain microvessel endothelial cells: a novel role in multiple sclerosis.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory neurological disease that is widely regarded as the outcome of complex interactions between a genetic predisposition and an environmental trigger. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has recently been associated with the onset of MS, yet understanding how it elicits autoimmunity remains elusive. Neuroinflammation, including the entry of autoreactive T cells, likely follows a breach of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) leading to CNS lesions in MS. We show that EBV can infect human BBB cells leading to increased production of pro-inflammatory mediators that result in immune cell adherence thus modeling a key step in MS pathogenesis.

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