B lymphocytes play an important role in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS). Follicle-like structures (FLS) have recently been found in the subarachnoid space in the leptomeninges in some patients with secondary progressive MS (SPMS). They contain proliferating B lymphocytes, plasma cells, helper T lymphocytes and a network of follicular dendritic cells. FLS have been shown to correlate with increased cortical demyelination, neuronal loss, meningeal infiltration and central nervous system inflammation, as well as lower age at disease onset and progression to severe disability and death. In this review, we will discuss the role of FLS in MS pathogenesis and disease course and the possible influence by B cell activating factor (BAFF) and C-X-C motif chemokine 13 (CXCL13).
Journal of Neuroimmunology, 2014, Vol 273, Issue 1-2, p. 1-7