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THERMS project

Laatste wijziging: 24 januari 2022

Study on the role of the humoral immune response in multiple sclerosis and the effect of immunomodulating therapy

 

Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Veerle Somers

 

The goal of this project is to gain more insight into the role of the humoral immune response in multiple sclerosis (MS) and the effect of immunomodulatory therapy on the immune response. In this study the biological properties of a new panel of candidate auto-antigens and the relevance of these candidate auto-antigens in the pathological process of MS will be studied. Furthermore, the effect of immunomodulatory therapy on various B-cell characteristics will be investigated. The fingolimod treatment will be a major focus of this study. To further investigate the effects of fingolimod, in vitro experiments with both B-cells and T-cells will be performed. To this end, blood will be collected from healthy donors to which fingolimod will be added in vitro. It is important to involve T-cells in this study because B-cells and T-cells have a strong influence on each other during normal immune response, but also in autoimmune disease such as MS. In order to investigate the effects of fingolimod on B-cells and T-cells ex vivo, blood will be collected from patients on fingolimod treatment and patients not on fingolimod treatment. B-cells and T-cells will be isolated and will be cultured in order to look at cytokine production and at the regulatory properties of these cells. As a control blood from healthy donors will be analyzed. Genomic DNA will be isolated from cells of MS patients to perform a Kappa excision circle (Krec) analysis.

 

Publications

  • Claes N, Fraussen J, Vanheusden M, Hellings N, Stinissen P, Van Wijmeersch B, Hupperts R, Somers V. Age-Associated B Cells with Proinflammatory Characteristics Are Expanded in a Proportion of Multiple Sclerosis Patients. J Immunol. 2016;197(12):4576-4583.

 

  • Claes N, Dhaeze T, Fraussen J, Broux B, Van Wijmeersch B, Stinissen P, Hupperts R, Hellings N, Somers V.  Compositional changes of B and T cell subtypes during fingolimod treatment in multiple sclerosis patients: a 12-month follow-up study. PLoS One. 2014;9(10):e111115.