Autoantigen- and Pathogen-Specific T- and B-Cell Responses in Multiple Sclerosis: A Never-Ending Story?

Derfuss T., Direskeneli G. S. , Hohlfeld R., Meinl E.

AKTUELLE NEUROLOGIE, vol.35, no.7, pp.345-355, 2008 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 35 Issue: 7
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Doi Number: 10.1055/s-2008-1067428
  • Title of Journal : AKTUELLE NEUROLOGIE
  • Page Numbers: pp.345-355


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a Chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system. In spite of immense efforts in research the cause of the disease is Still unknown. It is well accepted that myelin and probably also neurons are damaged by the immune system. This damage leads to per manent disability in the patients. Unlike myasthenia, in MS the responsible autoantigen for the immune attack has not been discovered so fir in spite of extensive research oil a variety of candidate autoantigens. We have recently identified neurofascin Which is located at the node of Ranvier as a target of autoantibodies. Antibodies against neurofascin induced an axonal damage in an animal model of MS. The relevance of these autoantibodies is currently under investigation. just recently, it has been found that antibodies against aquaporin 4 are a prominent feature in neuromyelitis optica (NMO). They are Currently in clinical use to support the diagnosis of NMO. Beyond this, any antibody testing for myelin antigens or viral antigens is not Of Clinical utility. Similar to the humoral immune response, no T-cell autoantigen or phenotype has been proven to be MS specific. The Current research centres oil antigen-based therapies that have the theoretical advantage of a high efficacy while minimising potential adverse effects. The aim of this review is to present some of the recently discussed antigens. More information about relevant antigens in MS Would not only lead to a better understanding of the pathogenesis of the disease but would also open new possibilities to develop biomarkers for disease and therapy monitoring and maybe also antigen-based therapies.