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Open AccessArticle

The Correlation between the Virus- and Brain Antigen-Specific B Cell Response in the Blood of Patients with Multiple Sclerosis

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Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Wuerzburg, Koellikerstr. 6, 97070 Wuerzburg, Germany
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Department of Anatomy I, University of Cologne, Joseph-Stelzmann-Str. 9, 50931 Cologne, Germany
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Cellular Technology Limited, 20521 Chagrin Blvd, Shaker Heights, OH 44122, USA
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Department of Neurology, University Hospitals of Cologne, Kerpener Straße 62, 50937 Cologne, Germany
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Department of Neurology, Klinikum Augsburg, Stenglinstraße 2, 86156 Augsburg, Germany
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Department of Neurology, Caritas-Krankenhaus Bad Mergentheim, Uhlandstraße 7, 97980 Bad Mergentheim, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Eric O. Freed
Viruses 2016, 8(4), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/v8040105
Received: 10 March 2016 / Revised: 5 April 2016 / Accepted: 12 April 2016 / Published: 23 April 2016
There is a largely divergent body of literature regarding the relationship between Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection and brain inflammation in multiple sclerosis (MS). Here, we tested MS patients during relapse (n = 11) and in remission (n = 19) in addition to n = 22 healthy controls to study the correlation between the EBV- and brain-specific B cell response in the blood by enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Cytomegalovirus (CMV) was used as a control antigen tested in n = 16 MS patients during relapse and in n = 35 patients in remission. Over the course of the study, n = 16 patients were untreated, while n = 33 patients received immunomodulatory therapy. The data show that there was a moderate correlation between the frequencies of EBV- and brain-reactive B cells in MS patients in remission. In addition we could detect a correlation between the B cell response to EBV and disease activity. There was no evidence of an EBV reactivation. Interestingly, there was also a correlation between the frequencies of CMV- and brain-specific B cells in MS patients experiencing an acute relapse and an elevated B cell response to CMV was associated with higher disease activity. The trend remained when excluding seronegative subjects but was non-significant. These data underline that viral infections might impact the immunopathology of MS, but the exact link between the two entities remains subject of controversy. View Full-Text
Keywords: B cells; CMV; EBV; ELISPOT; MS B cells; CMV; EBV; ELISPOT; MS
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Wunsch, M.; Hohmann, C.; Milles, B.; Rostermund, C.; Lehmann, P.V.; Schroeter, M.; Bayas, A.; Ulzheimer, J.; Mäurer, M.; Ergün, S.; Kuerten, S. The Correlation between the Virus- and Brain Antigen-Specific B Cell Response in the Blood of Patients with Multiple Sclerosis. Viruses 2016, 8, 105.

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