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TFHAmB study

Laatste wijziging: 24 January 2022

The role of the adaptive immunity in multiple sclerosis- Study on follicular regulatory T-cells from tonsils and blood of healthy persons


Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Niels Hellings, Researcher: Dr. Tessa Dhaeze


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune disease that is accompanied by the degradation of the central nervous system. Auto-immune diseases, such as MS, are characterized by changes in the CD4+CD25+FoxP3+ T-suppressor cells, or regulatory T cells (Tregs). It has been shown that the homeostasis and function of regulatory T cells in MS is disrupted, which leads to the conclusion that Tregs are involved in the pathogenesis of MS.


Recent studies have identified a new type of regulatory T-cells, the follicular regulatory T cells (TFR). These TFR have the ability to migrate to the germinal center of secondary lymphoid organs, such as the tonsils, where they may be able to regulate the strength and character of the resulting antibody reaction by limiting the number of follicular T helper cells (TFH), or by directly inhibiting the selection of the B-cells, or both.


This project will investigate if follicular regulatory T cells are present in human tonsils and if their presence in the tonsil is correlated with their presence in the peripheral blood. To  this end, the tonsils of adult persons undergoing tonsillectomy, together with a blood sample will be analyzed  to compare the ratio of TFR  in the tonsils with TFR in peripheral blood. The findings of this study will indicate if future studies done on peripheral TFR from MS patients reflect the processes that occur in TFR of the tonsils.