Scientific article
Open access

Persistent virus-specific and clonally expanded antibody-secreting cells respond to induced self-antigen in the CNS

Publication date2023-01-25
First online date2023-01-25

B cells contribute to the pathogenesis of both cellular- and humoral-mediated central nervous system (CNS) inflammatory diseases through a variety of mechanisms. In such conditions, B cells may enter the CNS parenchyma and contribute to local tissue destruction. It remains unexplored, however, how infection and autoimmunity drive transcriptional phenotypes, repertoire features, and antibody functionality. Here, we profiled B cells from the CNS of murine models of intracranial (i.c.) viral infections and autoimmunity. We identified a population of clonally expanded, antibody-secreting cells (ASCs) that had undergone class-switch recombination and extensive somatic hypermutation following i.c. infection with attenuated lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (rLCMV). Recombinant expression and characterisation of these antibodies revealed specificity to viral antigens (LCMV glycoprotein GP), correlating with ASC persistence in the brain weeks after resolved infection. Furthermore, these virus-specific ASCs upregulated proliferation and expansion programs in response to the conditional and transient induction of the LCMV GP as a neo-self antigen by astrocytes. This class-switched, clonally expanded, and mutated population persisted and was even more pronounced when peripheral B cells were depleted prior to autoantigen induction in the CNS. In contrast, the most expanded B cell clones in mice with persistent expression of LCMV GP in the CNS did not exhibit neo-self antigen specificity, potentially a consequence of local tolerance induction. Finally, a comparable population of clonally expanded, class-switched, and proliferating ASCs was detected in the cerebrospinal fluid of relapsing multiple sclerosis (RMS) patients. Taken together, our findings support the existence of B cells that populate the CNS and are capable of responding to locally encountered autoantigens.

  • Antibody-secreting cells
  • Autoimmunity
  • CNS tolerance
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Viral infection
Citation (ISO format)
AGRAFIOTIS, Andreas et al. Persistent virus-specific and clonally expanded antibody-secreting cells respond to induced self-antigen in the CNS. In: Acta neuropathologica, 2023. doi: 10.1007/s00401-023-02537-5
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ISSN of the journal0001-6322

Technical informations

Creation01/26/2023 1:15:00 PM
First validation01/26/2023 1:15:00 PM
Update time03/16/2023 10:31:30 AM
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