B cells as multifactorial players in multiple sclerosis pathogenesis: insights from therapeutics

Nele Claes

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisExternal prepared

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This study focused on two important objectives: determining the influence of MS treatments on different B-cell (immune cell) functions in MS patients and determine the role of the B-cells involved in immune aging in patients with MS.

First, the effects of the initial oral MS treatment (Fingolimod) were examined. Fingolimod treatment causes a shift from a pro-inflammatory (MS-promoting) B-cell profile to an anti-inflammatory (MS-inhibiting) B-cell profile. It was also found that B-cells could induce T-cells through the antigen presentation and co-stimulation of the T-cells. This effect was offset by several MS treatments. This study also demonstrated that a larger proportion of MS patients aged 60 and under showed expansions of B-cells associated with immune aging compared to control subjects of the same age. Further research is needed to determine how these cells contribute to MS disease progression.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Universiteit Hasselt
  • Somers, Veerle, Supervisor
  • Hupperts, Raymond, Supervisor
  • Stinissen, P., Co-Supervisor, External person
  • Fraussen, Judith, Co-Supervisor, External person
Award date16 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • B-cells

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