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From specificity to degeneracy to molecular mimicry: antigen recognition of human autoreactive and pathogen-specific CD4+ T cells

  • B. Hemmer
  • C. Pinilla
  • B. Gran
  • H. F. McFarland
  • R. Houghten
  • R. Martin
Conference paper

Abstract

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS). Although the cause of MS has not been identified, it is widely believed that myelin-specific T cells are somehow involved in the disease process [1]. However it is not clear how these cells become activated and mediate CNS disease. One of the most attractive models for the activation of autoreactive T cells is termed the “molecular mimicry hypothesis” [2]. According to this model, autoreactive T cells become activated in the peripheral immune system by crossreactive ligands derived from infectious agents. After activation and upregulation of adhesion molecules, these cells can cross the blood-brain barrier; after reactivation by myelin antigens either directly or via the recruitment of other cells, the activated T cells damage the myelin sheath and oligodendrocytes.

Keywords

Myelin Basic Protein Molecular Mimicry Peptide Library Antigen Recognition Optimal Amino Acid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia, Milan 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Hemmer
  • C. Pinilla
  • B. Gran
  • H. F. McFarland
  • R. Houghten
  • R. Martin

There are no affiliations available

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