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New study sheds light on how immune cells may work together to drive MS

April 1, 2022

Several therapies approved to treat MS (such as Ocrevus and Kesimpta) work by targeting a molecule on the surface of B cells called CD20. Researchers at University Medicine Göttingen, Germany, recently showed that another type of immune cell – T cells – may actually be grabbing CD20 from B cells and causing inflammation and damage. When this team transferred these T cells into mice with MS-like disease, the disease worsened; when they eliminated the cells, disease improved.

Further research will look at the interaction between T cells and B cells more closely, and whether current therapies are working by causing depletion of B cells, or of these CD20-carrying T cells. Understanding these factors can lead to more effective and better-tolerated therapies for MS. This study was partly funded by the National MS Society.

Read more from Science News

Read the abstract in Science Translational Medicine

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis, and there is currently no cure for MS. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, and it affects women three times more than men.


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