“…Immune cells normally pounce on intruding bacteria and viruses. But in multiple sclerosis (MS), immune cells target the nervous system instead. Now, researchers may have pinpointed a long-sought molecule called a self-antigen that provokes these attacks, pointing a way toward potential new treatments.”
Specifically, guanosine diphosphate (GDP)-l-fucose synthase has been found to be an autoantigen that is recognized by cerebrospinal fluid-infiltrating CD4+ T cells from HLA-DRB3*-positive patients. Significant associations were found between reactivity to GDP-l-fucose synthase peptides and DRB3*02:02 expression, along with reactivity against an immunodominant myelin basic protein peptide. “These results, coupled with the cross-recognition of homologous peptides from gut microbiota, suggest a possible role of this antigen as an inducer or driver of pathogenic autoimmune responses in multiple sclerosis.”
Planas R, Santos R, Tomas-Ojer P, Cruciani C, Lutterotti A, Faigle W, Schaeren-Wiemers N, Espejo C, Eixarch H, Pinilla C, Martin R and Sospedra M: GDP-l-fucose synthase is a CD4+ T cell-specific autoantigen in DRB3*02:02 patients with multiple sclerosis. Science Transl. Med. 10(462). pii: eaat4301. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aat4301; Oct. 10, 2018.