What is the role of T-lymphocytes in the pathophysiology of multiple sclerosis (MS)?

Updated: Oct 08, 2019
  • Author: Christopher Luzzio, MD; Chief Editor: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

Decreased function of T-lymphocytes with a regulatory role (Tregs) has been implicated in MS. [29] These Tregs are CD4+ CD25+ T cells that can be identified by their expression of a transcription factor known as Foxp3.

Conversely, the cytokine IL-23 has been shown to drive cells to commit to a pathogenic phenotype in autoimmune diseases, including MS. These pathogenic CD4+ T cells act reciprocally to counteract Treg function and can be identified by their high expression of the proinflammatory cytokine IL-17; they are therefore referred to as TH 17 cells. [30]


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