The role of autoimmune T lymphocytes in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis


  • R. Hohlfeld
  • E. Meinl
  • F. Weber
  • F. Zipp
  • S. Schmidt
  • S. Sotgiu
  • N. Goebels
  • R. Voltz
  • S. Spuler
  • A. Iglesias


  • Neurology


  • Neurology 45 (6 Suppl 6): S33-S38


  • Autoimmune T cells play a key role as regulators and effectors of autoimmune disease. In multiple sclerosis (MS), activated T cells specific for myelin components or other locally expressed autoantigens enter the CNS and recognize their antigen(s) on local antigen-presenting cells. After local stimulation, the T cells produce a plethora of cytokines and inflammatory mediators that have profound effects on the local cellular environment, induce and recruit additional inflammatory cells, and contribute to myelin damage. An increasingly detailed knowledge of these processes will greatly facilitate the development of new immunotherapies. This article focuses on the role of T cells in MS. We provide a brief overview of the principles of T-cell immunology, discuss the experimental techniques available for studying T cells, address the role of T cells in the pathogenesis of MS, and highlight modern concepts for immunotherapy.