Cerebrospinal fluid T cells from multiple sclerosis patients recognize autologous Epstein-Barr virus-transformed B cells

J Neurovirol. 2004 Feb;10(1):52-6. doi: 10.1080/13550280490261671.


The association between multiple sclerosis and Epstein-Barr virus infection could involve Epstein-Barr virus-specific T cells, provided that these T cells get access to the intrathecal compartment. We report that CD4+ T cells from the cerebrospinal fluid of six out of six multiple sclerosis patients, and four out of six patients with other neurological diseases, recognized autologous B cells transformed with Epstein-Barr virus. The cerebrospinal fluid T-cell responses were predominantly HLA-DR restricted. These T cells did not recognize B cells activated through stimulation of CD40 or the inducible autoantigen alphaB crystalline. These findings support that the immunological response to Epstein-Barr virus could contribute to the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / virology*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD40 Antigens / immunology
  • Cell Transformation, Viral
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / immunology*
  • HLA-DR Antigens / immunology
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Multiple Sclerosis / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Multiple Sclerosis / immunology*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / virology
  • alpha-Crystallin B Chain / immunology


  • CD40 Antigens
  • HLA-DR Antigens
  • alpha-Crystallin B Chain