Cytokine mRNA profile of myelin basic protein reactive T-cell clones in patients with multiple sclerosis

C VandevyverJ Raus


Autoimmune mechanisms involving T-cell responses to (a) myelin autoantigen(s), such as myelin basic protein (MBP), are thought to contribute to the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS). Cytokines may play a central role in the regulation of the pathogenic autoimmune responses in MS and the mediation of tissue damage in the disease. To study the cytokine expression of myelin reactive T-cells in MS, we determined the cytokine mRNA levels in a panel of blood derived MBP-specific T-cell clones derived from MS patients (33 clones) and normal controls (21 clones), using a novel quantitative RT-PCR method. Our results demonstrate that MBP-specific T-cells, both from MS patients and control subjects, predominantly display a Th1- or Th0-like cytokine pattern. Although MS clones express higher levels of TNFalpha and IL-10 mRNA, these differences do not reach statistical significance. Interestingly, significantly increased TNFalpha and IFNgamma mRNA levels were observed among clones derived from HLA-DR2 positive versus HLA-DR2 negative MS patients. This HLA halpotype is known to be associated with MS. The high levels of TNFalpha and IFNgamma mRNA observed in MBP-reactive T-cell clones from MS patients indicate an important role of thes...Continue Reading


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