Research: FRIESE and FUGGER,

Listed in Issue 120


FRIESE and FUGGER, MRC Human Immunology Unit and Department of Clinical Neurology, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 9DS, UK, have reviewed (200 references) the evidence that so-called autoreactive CD8(+) T cells could be a possible target for therapy in multiple sclerosis. Abstract: Multiple sclerosis (MS) afflicts more than 1 million people worldwide and is widely considered to be an autoimmune disease. Traditionally, CD4(+) T helper lymphocytes have almost exclusively been held responsible for this disease. However, several strategies that target CD4(+) T cells beneficially in an animal model of MS have failed to ameliorate disease activity in human MS, and some have even triggered exacerbations. Recently, the potential importance of CD8(+) T lymphocytes has begun to emerge. Physiologically, CD8(+) T cells are essential for detecting and eliminating abnormal cells, whether infected or cancerous. In MS, genetic associations with factors that predispose for MS have now been established, and CD8(+) as well as CD4(+) T cells have been found to invade and proliferate in inflammatory central nervous system plaques. Recent animal models induced by CD8(+) T cells show interesting similarities to MS, although not all of the features of the human disease are recapitulated. This review outlines the arguments for a possible role for CD8(+) T cells, a lymphocyte subset that has long been underrated in MS and should now be considered in new therapeutic approaches.






Friese MA, Fugger L. Autoreactive CD8+ T cells in multiple sclerosis: a new target for therapy? Brain 128 (8): 1747-1763, Aug 2005.

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