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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2048; doi:10.3390/ijms18102048

Deciphering the Role of B Cells in Multiple Sclerosis—Towards Specific Targeting of Pathogenic Function

1
Department of Neurology, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technical University of Munich, 81675 Munich, Germany
2
Munich Cluster for Systems Neurology (SyNergy), 80336 Munich, Germany
3
Institute of Neuropathology, University Medical Center, Georg August University, 37099 Göttingen, Germany
4
Department of Neurology, University Medical Center, Georg August University, Robert-Koch-Str. 40, 37099 Göttingen, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 September 2017 / Revised: 19 September 2017 / Accepted: 20 September 2017 / Published: 23 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Multiple Sclerosis 2017)
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Abstract

B cells, plasma cells and antibodies may play a key role in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS). This notion is supported by various immunological changes observed in MS patients, such as activation and pro-inflammatory differentiation of peripheral blood B cells, the persistence of clonally expanded plasma cells producing immunoglobulins in the cerebrospinal fluid, as well as the composition of inflammatory central nervous system lesions frequently containing co-localizing antibody depositions and activated complement. In recent years, the perception of a respective pathophysiological B cell involvement was vividly promoted by the empirical success of anti-CD20-mediated B cell depletion in clinical trials; based on these findings, the first monoclonal anti-CD20 antibody—ocrelizumab—is currently in the process of being approved for treatment of MS. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge on the role of B cells, plasma cells and antibodies in MS and elucidate how approved and future treatments, first and foremost anti-CD20 antibodies, therapeutically modify these B cell components. We will furthermore describe regulatory functions of B cells in MS and discuss how the evolving knowledge of these therapeutically desirable B cell properties can be harnessed to improve future safety and efficacy of B cell-directed therapy in MS. View Full-Text
Keywords: multiple sclerosis; B cells; antibodies; antigen presenting cells; anti-CD20; plasma cells; B cell therapies; experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis; regulatory B cells multiple sclerosis; B cells; antibodies; antigen presenting cells; anti-CD20; plasma cells; B cell therapies; experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis; regulatory B cells
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lehmann-Horn, K.; Kinzel, S.; Weber, M.S. Deciphering the Role of B Cells in Multiple Sclerosis—Towards Specific Targeting of Pathogenic Function. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 2048.

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