Serial blood T cell repertoire alterations in multiple sclerosis patients; correlation with clinical and MRI parameters

J Neuroimmunol. 2006 Aug;177(1-2):151-60. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2006.05.006. Epub 2006 Jun 27.


A significant skewing of the peripheral T cell repertoire has been shown in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS). Most of the studies already performed in this field are cross-sectional and therefore, little is known of the T cell repertoire evolution over time in MS and the correlation of T cell repertoire variation with clinical and MRI parameters. This study was performed on serially harvested frozen PBMC from nine untreated MS patients (27 samples) and 14 healthy individuals. The blood T cell repertoire of each patient was analysed at the complementarity determining region 3 (CDR3) level and compared with a monthly MRI scan performed over a six month period with assessment of T2 lesion load and gadolinium enhancing lesions. A highly significant blood T cell repertoire skewing was observed in MS patients as compared with healthy controls (p<0.01). In addition, the number of altered Vbeta families correlated significantly with both the T2 lesion volume and the number of gadolinium enhancing lesions as assessed by MRI (Spearman correlation tests, r=0.51 and r=0.44, p<0.01 and p<0.05 respectively). Furthermore, the variation of the number of altered Vbeta families over time also correlated with the appearance of new gadolinium enhancing lesions (r=0.36, p=0.05). These findings which need confirmation on larger serial cohorts, suggest an association between the magnitude of TCRBV CDR3 length distribution alterations in the peripheral blood of MS patients and the disease process.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / immunology
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / physiopathology
  • Central Nervous System / immunology*
  • Central Nervous System / pathology*
  • Central Nervous System / physiopathology
  • Chemotaxis, Leukocyte / immunology
  • Complementarity Determining Regions / analysis
  • Complementarity Determining Regions / blood
  • Complementarity Determining Regions / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Tests
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / blood*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / diagnosis
  • Multiple Sclerosis / immunology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / genetics
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / immunology*
  • Statistics as Topic
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Complementarity Determining Regions
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell