Neural antigen presentation in Multiple Sclerosis

Andrew Slater aji at
Thu Apr 20 11:04:35 EST 2000

It is a very interesting question. And one that also applies in the case of
Rheumatoid arthritis. The synovial membrane and the various other sections in
the joints do not contain lymphatic vessels, but yet the activation of naive
T-cells occur.

A friend of mine offered what appeared to be a stupid idea, but now I don't
know. What if the activation of naive T-cells could differentiate outwith the
peripheral lymphatics, it is known that there is no evidence of T-cell
apoptosis within the synovial fluid, thus the joints appear to be a special

The mechanism may have evolved over the need to protect against pathogens whose
antigens do not cross such barriers as the blood brain barrier, Thus the only
way to initiate an immune response would be the local activation of naive
T-cells perhaps through antigen presentation by tissue macrophages.

Anyone else have any ideas or even specialist knowledge in this field?

Theophilus Samuels wrote:

> At present is is thought that T cell activation (in response to neural
> antigens such as MBP) occurs in the periphery, lymph nodes etc, which then
> allows them to penetrate the BBB and produce the crippling CNS inflammatory
> response observed in MS patients. I ask the following question - how does
> the neural antigen get into the peripheral lymphatic system in the first
> place, since lymphatic vessels are not present in the CNS?
>   T.L.S.

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