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T-cell surveillance of the human brain in health and multiple sclerosis

Publication year 2022
Published in Seminars in immunopathology
Authors J Smolders, Marvin M van Luijn, Cheng-Chih Hsiao, J. Hamann

Circulating and tissue-resident T cells collaborate in the protection of tissues against harmful infections and malignant transformation but also can instigate autoimmune reactions. Similar roles for T cells in the brain have been less evident due to the compartmentized organization of the central nervous system (CNS). In recent years, beneficial as well as occasional, detrimental effects of T-cell-targeting drugs in people with early multiple sclerosis (MS) have increased interest in T cells patrolling the CNS. Next to studies focusing on T cells in the cerebrospinal fluid, phenotypic characteristics of T cells located in the perivascular space and the meninges as well as in the parenchyma in MS lesions have been reported. We here summarize the current knowledge about T cells infiltrating the healthy and MS brain and argue that understanding the dynamics of physiological CNS surveillance by T cells is likely to improve the understanding of pathological conditions, such as MS.

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