HLA DRB1*1501 and intrathecal inflammation in multiple sclerosis

Tissue Antigens. 2000 Apr;55(4):312-8. doi: 10.1034/j.1399-0039.2000.550404.x.


CD4 T cells are considered to be pivotal in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS), and the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) haplotype associated with DRB1*1501 confers susceptibility to MS in patients of Northern European descent. Some previous studies have suggested an association of DRB1*1501 with T- and B-cell reactivity to specific myelin protein peptides, other studies suggested an association with enhanced cytokine production or intrathecal immunoglobulin (Ig) synthesis. In order to further assess the role of DRB1*1501 in the pathogenesis of MS, we studied intrathecal inflammation and T-cell phenotypes in patients with possible onset symptoms or clinically definite MS. Presence of DRB1*1501 was associated with higher levels of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) inflammation as assessed by IgG synthesis levels and higher levels of matrix metalloproteinase-9 activity. DRB1*1501-positive patients also had a lower percentage of T cells in CSF expressing HLA-DR without co-expressing CD25. These findings suggest that enhanced intrathecal inflammation and an altered T-cell activation status may be of importance in conferring the DRB1*1501-associated susceptibility to MS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid / cytology
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid / immunology
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • HLA-DR Antigens / immunology*
  • HLA-DRB1 Chains
  • Histocompatibility Testing
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multiple Sclerosis / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / immunology*
  • Myelin Sheath / immunology
  • Myelitis / immunology*
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2 / analysis
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / chemistry
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology


  • HLA-DR Antigens
  • HLA-DRB1 Chains
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2