New KerfootLab Publication

Originally posted 2015/09/15

Our most recent publication in Frontiers in Immunology has just become available. It is open access, and you can get to it here:

Dang A.K., Tesfagiorgis Y., Jain R.W., Craig H.C., and Kerfoot S.M. Meningeal infiltration of the spinal cord by non-classically activated B cells is associated with chronic disease course in a spontaneous B cell-dependent model of CNS autoimmune disease. Frontiers in Immunology, 2015; 6:470.

There is a lot of interest in B cells and how they contribute to disease in Multiple Sclerosis. In this paper, we use a mouse model of anti-myelin autoimmunity to ask basic questions about the types of B cells that invade the central nervous system. In some cases of human Multiple Sclerosis, clusters of B cells have been found in the brain and there is some indication that these clusters contribute to promoting local autoimmunity and inflammation. We found similar clusters in our mouse model of disease. Using this model we can perform studies that would not be possible in human patients to learn about how these structures form, what kind of cells they contain, and how they contribute to inflammation.

Our paper is published as part of a "Special Topics" issue titled "Lymphocytes in MS and EAE: more than just a CD4+ world". In recent decades, research has focussed almost exclusively on the role of the CD4+ T cell subset in promoting disease. Recent studies in human multiple sclerosis has challenged the notion that this type of T cell acts alone to cause disease. This Special Topics Issue, edited by Drs. Manu RangachariNathalie ArbourJorge Alvarez, and Steve Kerfoot, collects several new papers discussing the potential contribution of other cells, including B cells, CD8+ T cells, and NKT cells.