Immunological responses to viruses in multiple sclerosis: Cell-mediated immunity

J. I. Greenstein, H. F. McFarland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Because infection by viruses represents exposure of the immune system to a large group of naturally occurring antigens to which long-term immunity commonly develops, a unique opportunity is provided for the study of immune regulation in humans. Recent developments in the study of various effector cells and their regulation (such as the study of T cell specific cytotoxicity and production in vitro of antiviral antibody have provided much information on normal regulatory mechanisms, and the application of these approaches to the investigation of MS will be of value in the future. The current status of investigations of cell-mediated immunity to viruses in MS does not, however, strongly implicate either a viral or an autoimmune aetiology for the disease. No gross abnormality in cell-mediated responses to viruses has been detected in MS patients in general. A limited number of patients have been found to have significant differences from the normal response to measles virus. More subtle regulatory abnormalities to measles and other viruses may exist, but the elucidation of these will require more precise definition of the cells involved, and more sophisticated quantitative studies of the cells responsible. This may be crucial to the development of a deeper understanding of the aetiology and pathogenesis of MS, and to an eventual wider application of techniques currently restricted to research investigators, to objective evaluation of the different stages of the disease and to monitoring the effects of various forms of therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-383
Number of pages13
JournalClinics in Immunology and Allergy
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy


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