Impact of myelin-specific antigen presenting B cells on T cell activation in multiple sclerosis

Christopher T. Harp, Amy E. Lovett-Racke, Michael K. Racke, Elliot Frohman, Nancy L Monson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


The role of B cells in the pathogenesis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is incompletely understood. Here we define a possible role for B cells as myelin-specific antigen presenting cells (B-APCs) in MS. Peripheral blood B cells (PBBC) isolated from both MS patients and healthy controls (HC) were activated in vitro with either CD40L/IL-4 or a Class B CpG oligodeoxynucleotide (CpG ODN)/IL-2. Both activation techniques induced PBBCs to upregulate CD80 and HLA-DR, rendering them more efficient APCs than resting B cells. Although the CD40L/IL-4 B-APCs were highly effective in eliciting CNS-antigen specific proliferation by autologous T cells, CpG ODN/IL-2 stimulated B cells were not. Furthermore, CD40L/IL-4 B-APC induced responses by autologous CD4+ T cells were susceptible to blocking with anti-HLA-DR antibody, suggesting that T cell responses were specific for antigen presentation by B-APC. CNS-antigen specific CD8+ T cell proliferation was also blocked by HLA-DR, suggesting that CD8+ proliferation is in part dependent on CD4+ help.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)382-391
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • Antigen presentation
  • Autoimmunity
  • B cells
  • Multiple sclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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