Cerebrospinal fluid CD4+ T cells from a multiple sclerosis patient cross-recognize Epstein-Barr virus and myelin basic protein
Epstein-Barr virus-specific CD4+ T cells could be involved in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis, provided they can gain entry to the intrathecal compartment. The authors have previously demonstrated that cerebrospinal fluid T cells from multiple sclerosis patients recognize autologous Epstein-Barr virus-transformed B cells. They now report that CD4+ T cells specific for the Epstein-Barr virus DNA polymerase peptide EBV 627–641 were present in the cerebrospinal fluid from one of two multiple sclerosis patients, and that a high proportion of these CD4+ T cells cross-recognized an immunodominant myelin basic protein peptide, MBP 85–99. In the observed patient, the proportion of EBV 627–641-specific CD4+ T cells seemed to exceed 1/10 000 in cerebrospinal fluid, compared to approximately 1/100 000 in blood. These findings prove that Epstein-Barr-virus specific CD4+ T cells can gain access to the intrathecal compartment, and suggest that Epstein-Barr virus-specific CD4+ T cells could target myelin basic protein in the central nervous system.
Keywordscerebrospinal fluid Epstein-Barr virus multiple sclerosis myelin basic protein specificity T cells
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