Editors' ChoiceImmunology

Eclipsing multiple sclerosis

Sci. Signal.  27 Oct 2015:
Vol. 8, Issue 400, pp. ec312
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aad7035

Through an unknown mechanism, B cell depletion therapy (BCDT) limits inflammation in some cases of multiple sclerosis (MS). Li et al. reported that a subset of B cells that produce the cytokine granulocyte macrophage–colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) contributes to MS pathogenesis. Compared with healthy controls, MS patients had a higher number of these cells, and in vitro these cells promoted proinflammatory myeloid responses. Moreover, these GM-CSF–releasing B cells inhibited the generation of interleukin-10 (IL-10)–producing regulatory B cells, which are thought to be protective in disease. After BCDT, the ratio of GM-CSF– to IL-10–producing B cells was normalized, suggesting that BCDT may work in part by decreasing the number of pathogenic GM-CSF–producing B cells.

R. Li, A. Rezk, Y. Miyazaki, E. Hilgenberg, H. Touill, P. Shen, C. S. Moore, L. Michel, F. Althekair, S. Rajasekharan, J. L. Gommerman, A. Prat, S. Fillatreau, A. Bar-Or, on behalf of the Canadian B cells in, MS Team, Proinflammatory GM-CSF–producing B cells in multiple sclerosis and B cell depletion therapy. Sci. Transl. Med. 7, 310ra166 (2015). [Abstract]