B-cell differentiation in the CNS of patients with multiple sclerosis

Anna Corcione, Francesca Aloisi, Barbara Serafini, Elisabetta Capello, Giovanni Luigi Mancardi, Vito Pistoia, Antonio Uccelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Clonally expanded populations of Ig variable gene-mutated B cells are found in the central nervous system (CNS) of subjects with multiple sclerosis (MS), suggesting the occurrence of a germinal center-like reaction. Recent studies have demonstrated that the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of MS patients is enriched with centroblasts and B cells with a memory phenotype compared to peripheral blood. In the same individuals, antibody-secreting cells (ASC) are detected in the CSF and appear to correlate with CNS inflammation. These B-cell subsets are the output of a germinal center reaction, which is likely to occur in the CNS. Recent findings suggest that the inflamed brain can become a favorable niche for B-cell survival and proliferation and, under some circumstances, sustain the formation of ectopic lymphoid structures. Thus, B cells are likely to expand and mature inside the CNS, giving rise to ASC, which may play an effector role in the pathogenesis of MS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-554
Number of pages6
JournalAutoimmunity Reviews
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2005


  • Antibody-secreting cells
  • B cells
  • Lymphoid neogenesis
  • Multiple sclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy

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