B cells from patients with multiple sclerosis induce cell death via apoptosis in neurons in vitro

J Neuroimmunol. 2017 Aug 15;309:88-99. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2017.05.004. Epub 2017 May 17.


B cells mediate multiple sclerosis (MS) pathogenesis by mechanisms unrelated to immunoglobulin (Ig). We reported that supernatants (Sup) from cultured B cells from blood of relapsing remitting MS (RRMS) patients, but not normal controls (NC), were cytotoxic to rat oligodendrocytes (OL). We now show that RRMS blood B cells, not stimulated in vitro, secrete factor/s toxic to rat and human neurons. Cytotoxicity is independent of Ig and multiple cytokines, not complement-mediated, and involves apoptosis. The factor/s have an apparent mw of >300kDa. B cells could contribute to damage within the central nervous system by secreting molecules toxic to OL and neurons.

Keywords: B cells; Cell death; Cytokines; Multiple sclerosis; Neurons; Oligodendrocytes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Apoptosis / physiology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Cell Death / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Coculture Techniques
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / blood*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / immunology
  • Neuroglia / immunology
  • Neuroglia / metabolism
  • Neurons / immunology
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Oligodendroglia / immunology
  • Oligodendroglia / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Young Adult