A Tolerogenic Role of Cathepsin G in a Primate Model of Multiple Sclerosis: Abrogation by Epstein–Barr Virus Infection

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Using a non-human primate model of the autoimmune neuroinflammatory disease multiple sclerosis (MS), we have unraveled the role of B cells in the making and breaking of immune tolerance against central nervous system myelin. It is discussed here that B cells prevent the activation of strongly pathogenic T cells present in the naïve repertoire, which are directed against the immunodominant myelin antigen MOG (myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein). Prevention occurs via destructive processing of a critical epitope (MOG34-56) through the lysosomal serine protease cathepsin G. This effective tolerance mechanism is abrogated when the B cells are infected with Epstein–Barr virus, a ubiquitous γ1-herpesvirus that entails the strongest non-genetic risk factor for MS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number21
JournalArchivum immunologiae et therapiae experimentalis
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020


  • Antigen presentation
  • Autoimmune
  • B cells
  • EAE
  • Tolerance

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