ALTHOUGH the cause of multiple sclerosis (MS) is unknown, it is thought to involve a T cell-mediated autoimmune mechanism. Susceptibility to the disease is influenced by genetic factors such as genes of the HLA and T-cell receptor (TCR) complex1-6. Other evidence for a genetic influence includes the low incidence in certain ethnic groups7, the increased risk if there are affected family members8 and the increased concordance rate for disease in monozygotic twin pairs (26%)9, compared to dizygotic twins. Epidemiotogical studies indicate that there may be an additional role for environmental factors. Although the target antigen(s) are not yet identified, several myelin or myelin-associated proteins have been suspected10-12, among them myelin basic protein. A lack of genetically comparable controls has impaired the analysis of the T-cell response in MS patients and caused disagreement on TCR usage in the disease13-15. Here we analyse the role of TCR genes in MS by comparing TCR usage in discordant versus concordant monozygotic twins in response to self and foreign antigens. We find that after stimulation with myelin basic protein or tetanus.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|State||Published - Jul 15 1993|
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