Epstein-Barr virus infection of human brain microvessel endothelial cells: a novel role in multiple sclerosis

J Neuroimmunol. 2011 Jan;230(1-2):173-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2010.08.003. Epub 2010 Sep 9.


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory neurological disease that is widely regarded as the outcome of complex interactions between a genetic predisposition and an environmental trigger. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has recently been associated with the onset of MS, yet understanding how it elicits autoimmunity remains elusive. Neuroinflammation, including the entry of autoreactive T cells, likely follows a breach of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) leading to CNS lesions in MS. We show that EBV can infect human BBB cells leading to increased production of pro-inflammatory mediators that result in immune cell adherence thus modeling a key step in MS pathogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blood-Brain Barrier / virology*
  • Cell Adhesion / immunology
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Cytokines / immunology
  • Endothelial Cells / virology*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / immunology
  • Microvessels / immunology
  • Microvessels / virology*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Cytokines