CD20 therapies in multiple sclerosis and experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis - Targeting T or B cells?

Marie Colombe Agahozo, Laura Peferoen, David Baker, Sandra Amor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


MS is widely considered to be a T cell-mediated disease although T cell immunotherapy has consistently failed, demonstrating distinct differences with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model of MS in which T cell therapies are effective. Accumulating evidence has highlighted that B cells also play key role in MS pathogenesis. The high frequency of oligoclonal antibodies in the CSF, the localization of immunoglobulin in brain lesions and pathogenicity of antibodies originally pointed to the pathogenic role of B cells as autoantibody producing plasma cells. However, emerging evidence reveal that B cells also act as antigen presenting cells, T cell activators and cytokine producers suggesting that the strong efficacy of anti-CD20 antibody therapy observed in people with MS may reduce disease progression by several different mechanisms. Here we review the evidence and mechanisms by which B cells contribute to disease in MS compared to findings in the EAE model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-7
Number of pages8
JournalMultiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016


  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD20
  • Autoantibodies
  • B-Lymphocytes
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Journal Article
  • Lymphocyte Depletion
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Review
  • T-Lymphocytes

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