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Saturday, October 6, 2018

How B-cells Work to Promote T-cell Attacks on Myelin That Lead to MS Detailed in Study

B-cells in the immune system play an important role in the unfolding of inflammation and brain lesions in multiple sclerosis(MS), largely by how they influence the actions of another immune system cell, called T-cells, a new study reports.
Its findings help explain why therapies like Ocrevus and off-label use of rituximab, both of which act on B-cells, are effective in controlling MS.
Despite advances in understanding MS, it is still unclear exactly which specific cells and molecules drive the immune system to attack healthy tissue and damage the protective myelin layer surrounding nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.
A team of researchers at the University of Zurich and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden report that memory B-cells, so-called because they normally work to remind the immune system of past threats so that such invaders (like viruses) are stopped quickly, also cause autoreactive T-cells to proliferate in MS patients. Once these cells reach the brain, they promote inflammation and demyelination (loss of myelin).

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