Distinct pattern of lesion distribution in multiple sclerosis is associated with different circulating T-helper and helper-like innate lymphoid cell subsets

Mult Scler. 2017 Jun;23(7):1025-1030. doi: 10.1177/1352458516662726. Epub 2016 Aug 1.


Background: Distinct lesion topography in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) might be due to different antigen presentation and/or trafficking routes of immune cells into the central nervous system (CNS).

Objective: To investigate whether distinct lesion patterns in multiple sclerosis (MS) might be associated with a predominance of distinct circulating T-helper cell subset as well as their innate counterparts.

Methods: Flow cytometric analysis of lymphocytes derived from the peripheral blood of patients with exclusively cerebral (n = 20) or predominantly spinal (n = 12) disease manifestation.

Results: Patients with exclusively cerebral or preferential spinal lesion manifestation were associated with increased proportions of circulating granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) producing TH1 cells or interleukin (IL)-17-producing TH17 cells, respectively. In contrast, proportions of peripheral IL-17/IL-22-producing lymphoid tissue inducer (LTi), the innate counterpart of TH17 cells, were enhanced in RRMS patients with exclusively cerebral lesion topography.

Conclusions: Distinct T-helper and T-helper-like innate lymphoid cell (ILC) subsets are associated with different lesion topography in RRMS.

Keywords: Multiple sclerosis; TH1; TH17; innate lymphoid cell; lesion distribution; lymphoid tissue inducer.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / immunology*
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / blood
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • Immunophenotyping / methods
  • Interleukin-17 / blood
  • Interleukins / blood
  • Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / blood
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / diagnostic imaging
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / immunology*
  • Phenotype
  • Spinal Cord / diagnostic imaging
  • Spinal Cord / immunology*
  • Spinal Cord / metabolism
  • Th1 Cells / immunology*
  • Th1 Cells / metabolism
  • Th17 Cells / immunology*
  • Th17 Cells / metabolism
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • Interleukin-17
  • Interleukins
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • interleukin-22