Expanding role of T cells in human autoimmune diseases of the central nervous system

Deepti Pilli, Alicia Zou, Fiona Tea, Russell C. Dale, Fabienne Brilot*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


It is being increasingly recognized that a dysregulation of the immune system plays a vital role in neurological disorders and shapes the treatment of the disease. Aberrant T cell responses, in particular, are key in driving autoimmunity and have been traditionally associated with multiple sclerosis. Yet, it is evident that there are other neurological diseases in which autoreactive T cells have an active role in pathogenesis. In this review, we report on the recent progress in profiling and assessing the functionality of autoreactive T cells in central nervous system (CNS) autoimmune disorders that are currently postulated to be primarily T cell driven. We also explore the autoreactive T cell response in a recently emerging group of syndromes characterized by autoantibodies against neuronal cell-surface proteins. Common methodology implemented in T cell biology is further considered as it is an important determinant in their detection and characterization. An improved understanding of the contribution of autoreactive T cells expands our knowledge of the autoimmune response in CNS disorders and can offer novel methods of therapeutic intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Article number652
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2017. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • autoantibodies
  • autoreactive T cells
  • central nervous system autoimmune diseases
  • multiple sclerosis
  • neuroimmunology
  • T cell detection


Dive into the research topics of 'Expanding role of T cells in human autoimmune diseases of the central nervous system'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this