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Multiple Sclerosis International
Volume 2011, Article ID 423971, 9 pages
Review Article

Potential Impact of B Cells on T Cell Function in Multiple Sclerosis

Departments of Neurology, Neurotherapeutics and Immunology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390, USA

Received 13 October 2010; Accepted 13 January 2011

Academic Editor: Angelo Ghezzi

Copyright © 2011 Sara Ireland and Nancy Monson. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Multiple sclerosis is a chronic debilitating autoimmune disease of the central nervous system. The contribution of B cells in the pathoetiology of MS has recently been highlighted by the emergence of rituximab, an anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody that specifically depletes B cells, as a potent immunomodulatory therapy for the treatment of MS. However, a clearer understanding of the impact B cells have on the neuro-inflammatory component of MS pathogenesis is needed in order to develop novel therapeutics whose affects on B cells would be beneficial and not harmful. Since T cells are known mediators of the pathology of MS, the goal of this review is to summarize what is known about the interactions between B cells and T cells, and how current and emerging immunotherapies may impact B-T cell interactions in MS.