Resiquimod-Mediated Activation of Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells Is Amplified in Multiple Sclerosis

Marta Corsetti, Gabriella Ruocco, Serena Ruggieri, Claudio Gasperini, Luca Battistini, Elisabetta Volpe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease of the central nervous system. The cause of multiple sclerosis is unknown but there are several evidences that associate the genetic basis of the disease with environmental causes. An important association between viral infection and development of MS is clearly demonstrated. Viruses have a strong impact on innate immune cells. In particular, myeloid dendritic cells (mDCs) and plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs), are able to respond to viruses and to activate the adaptive immune response. METHODS: In this study we mimic viral infection using synthetic single-strand RNA, Resiquimod, and we compared the response of both DC subsets derived from healthy donors and MS patients by characterizing the expression of costimulatory molecules on the DC surface. RESULTS: We found that pDCs from MS patients express higher levels of OX40-L, HLA-DR, and CD86 than healthy donors. Moreover, we found that blood cells from MS patients and healthy donors upon Resiquimod-stimulation are enriched in a subpopulation of pDCs, characterized by a high amount of costimulatory molecules. CONCLUSION: Overall, these results indicate that activation of pDCs is enhanced in MS, likely due to a latent viral infection, and that costimulatory molecules expressed on pDCs could mediate a protective response against the viral trigger of autoimmunity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jun 8 2019


  • costimulatory molecules
  • multiple sclerosis
  • myeloid dendritic cells
  • plasmacytoid dendritic cells
  • Resiquimod
  • Toll-like receptors
  • virus infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Resiquimod-Mediated Activation of Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells Is Amplified in Multiple Sclerosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this