Potential role of humoral immunity in the pathogenesis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE)

Maria Del Pilar Martin, Nancy L. Monson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations


The earliest research literature addressing subclinical characteristics of Multiple Sclerosis was largely focused on humoral immune components, particularly antibodies in the cerebrospinal fluid of MS patients. However, two decades later, in the 1990's, T cells were established as a major component of the underlying mechanism(s) of MS pathogenesis, especially since EAE, the mouse model of MS, could be readily induced by immunization with myelin derived peptides or passive transfer of encephalogenic T cells. This data has contributed to the concept that the role of humoral immunity in MS pathogenesis may be negligible. However, more recent studies have provided important insights regarding the role of humoral immunity in MS pathogenesis. The goals of this review are to 1) summarize evidence for and against the hypothesis that humoral immunity plays a central role in the pathogenesis of MS, and 2) summarize studies in the EAE model that directly tested the role of humoral immunity in pathogenesis of the disease. With this information, we hope to convince the reader that great strides have been made towards defining a central role of humoral immunity in MS pathogenesis, but that there is a substantial amount of work to be done (especially in the EAE model) to ensure that the contribution of humoral immunity to MS pathogenenesis is effectively addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2735-2749
Number of pages15
JournalFrontiers in Bioscience
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2007



  • Antibody
  • B cells
  • Complement
  • Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis
  • Humoral immunity
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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