The role of B cells in multiple sclerosis

Bernhard Hemmer, Markus C. Kowarik, Martin S. Weber

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

B cells may have various roles in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS), serving as a source of plasma cells that secrete autoreactive specific antibodies, but also as antigen-presenting cells for activation of encephalitogenic T cells. Data indicate that antibodies promote demyelination in MS and experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), the animal model of MS, while the role of B cells themselves in central nervous system (CNS) autoimmune disease is less clear. Like dendritic cells, B cells are professional antigen-presenting cells as defined by a constitutive expression of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II and an antigen-specific B cell receptor (BCR, membrane-associated Immunoglobulin (Ig)). Compared to other antigen-presenting cell populations, antigen-specific B cells are very competent in presentation of protein antigen when their BCR recognizes the same antigen as the responding T cells. As processing and presentation of CNS protein antigen is required for initiation of CNS autoimmune disease (Slavin et al. 2001), B cells and, in particular, B cells specific for CNS autoantigen may have an important role as antigen-presenting cells for the activation of myelin-specific T cells in MS.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMultiple Sclerosis Immunology
Subtitle of host publicationA Foundation for Current and Future Treatments
PublisherSpringer New York
Pages95-114
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781461479536
ISBN (Print)1461479525, 9781461479529
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The role of B cells in multiple sclerosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this