Inproceedings: an article in a conference proceedings.
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Increased EBV Reactivation in the Cerebrospinal Fluid of Patients with Early Multiple Sclerosis
Title of the conference
9th International Symposium on NeuroVirology
Miami Beach, FL, JUN 02, 2009
Journal of Neurovirology
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has been consistently associated with multiple sclerosis (MS), but whether this virus is a trigger of MS remains undetermined. Recently, EBV-infected B cells recognized by activated CD8_ T cells have been detected in the meninges of autopsied MS patients. In addition, a strong EBV-specific CD8_ T cell response in the blood of patients with MS of recent onset was reported. Here, to further explore the putative relationship between MS and EBV, we assessed the EBV-specific cellular and humoral immune responses in the blood and the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients with early MS or other neurological diseases, separated into inflammatory (IOND) and non-inflammatory (NIOND) groups. The MS non-associated neurotropic herpesvirus cytomegalovirus (CMV) served as a control. Fifty-eight study subjects were enrolled, including 44 patients (13 with early MS (onset of MS less than one year prior to the assay), 15 with IOND and 16 with NIOND) in the immunological arm of the study. The cellular immune response was investigated using a functional CFSE cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) assay performed with short-term cultured EBV- or CMVspecific effector T cells from the CSF and the blood. The humoral immune response specific for these two viruses was also examined in both the blood and the CSF. The recruitment of a given virusspecific antibody in the CSF as compared to the blood was expressed as antibody indexes (AI). We found that, in the CSF of early MS patients, there was an enrichment in EBV-, but not CMV-specific, CD8_ CTL as compared to the CSF of IOND (P_ 0.003) and NIOND patients (P_0.0009), as well as compared to paired blood samples (P_0.005). Additionally, relative viral capsid antigen (VCA)-, but not EBV encoded nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA1)- or CMV-specific, AI were increased in the CSF of early MS as compared to IOND (P_0.002) or NIOND patients (P_0.008) and correlated with the EBVspecific CD8_ CTL responses in the CSF (rs_0.54, P_0.001). Fourteen additional patients were enrolled in the virological arm of the study: using semi-nested PCR, EBV-encoded nuclear RNA1 (EBER1)-a transcript expressed during all stages of EBV infection-was detected in the CSF of 2/4 early MS, but only 1/6 IOND and 0/4 NIOND patients. Altogether, our data suggest that a reactivation of EBV, but not CMV, is taking place in the central nervous system of patients with MS of recent onset. These data significantly strengthen the link between EBV and MS and may indicate a triggering role of EBV in this disease. This work was supported by grants from the Swiss National Foundation and from the Swiss Society for Multiple Sclerosis.
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