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Laatste wijziging: 24 January 2022
Study on antibody dependent and independent B-cell function in multiple sclerosis
Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Veerle Somers, Researcher: Dr. Judith Fraussen
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system with an unknown etiology. B-cells in MS patients produce auto-antibodies which can kill target cells in the brain. Despite intensive research the exact antigenic targets of these B-cells and auto-antibodies in MS is still unknown. Also, antibody-independent B-cell functions are important in MS, such as antigen-presentation, co-stimulation of T-cells and cytokine production.
In order to achieve a faster and improved diagnosis and therapy for MS, there is need for additional diagnostic and therapeutic targets. The goal of this project is to further study the antibody-dependent and -independent B-cell functions in MS.
The antibody-dependent B-cell functions are examined by immortalization of B-cells in cerebrospinal fluid and/or blood of MS patients, control patients and healthy individuals. B-cells are isolated from PBMC (peripheral blood mononuclear cells) fraction and infected with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). This results in a continuously proliferating cell line that produces large amounts of antibodies. These cells are than further examined to identify the target antigens of the auto-reactive B-cells of MS patients. Furthermore, the role of antibody-independent B-cell function in MS is further unraveled by studying the capacity of B-cells to present antigens in MS patients and healthy individuals. Also, the investigation of the interaction between B-cells and T-cells will lead to new insights in the pathogenesis of MS and may eventually lead to improved and more specific therapies for patients.
Fraussen J, Claes N, Van Wijmeersch B, van Horssen J, Stinissen P, Hupperts R, Somers V. B cells of multiple sclerosis patients induce autoreactive proinflammatory T cell responses. Clin Immunol. 2016;173:124-132.