Chemokines and Autoimmune Demyelination
Autoimmune attack on the nervous system is considered the basis for multiple sclerosis (MS) (Compston and Coles, 2002), and is also implicated in peripheral neuropathies such as Guillain—Barré Syndrome (GBS) (Kiefer et al., 2002). Myelin is probably the major target of autoimmune attack in both diseases, although non-myelin antigens are also recognized by infiltrating T cells and antibodies. Destruction of myelin (demyelination) is a central feature of MS and GBS, with accompanying inflammation viz. infiltrates of T cells and macrophages, neutrophils (depending on the subtype of disease), and B cells, again depending on disease subpathology. A working definition of inflammation is the presence of leukocytes where they don't belong, and it is instructive to consider how leukocytes in demyelinating diseases get to be ‘where they don't belong’. This chapter will attempt to review the role of chemokines in this inflammatory process and how they contribute to the autoimmune pathology in demyelinating diseases. We will focus primarily on central nervous system (CNS) demyelinating disease.
KeywordsMultiple Sclerosis Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis Demyelinating Disease Experimental Allergic Encephalomyelitis Multiple Sclerosis Lesion
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