Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Immunological features in multiple sclerosis.

Br Med J 1976; 1 doi: (Published 24 January 1976) Cite this as: Br Med J 1976;1:183
  1. G Lamoureux,
  2. N Giard,
  3. R Jolicoeur,
  4. V Toughlian,
  5. M Desrosiers


    A clinical and laboratory profile of the immunological system of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) strongly suggested that many specific immune deficiencies exist in MS. The immunological history showed that patients with MS had had more tonsillectomies, appendicectomies, and childhood infections than matched controls, which suggested that there had been problems in controlling various types of childhood infections. The cell-mediated immune response and the circulating antibody titres were specifically impaired against a variety of antigens. Patients with MS had significantly lower serum antibody titres than controls against many naturally occurring antigens-namely, diptheria and tetanus toxoids, adenovirus, and mumps viruses. Raised serum antibody titres were found against measles and varicella zoster viruses while no difference was found towards other antigens. The delayed hypersensitivity reaction and the immunological memory of patients with MS were also greatly reduced against the mumps skin test antigens. There were normal amounts of circulating T and B lymphocytes, and the phytohaemagglutinin, concanavallin A, pokeweed mitogen, and encephalitogens lymphocyte transformation was not different from that in controls. These results indicated that patients with MS have more infectious problems than normal people and that both their T and B cell systems cannot mount a fully normal immunological response to some viral and bacterial antigens, while they give an increased response to others.