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CCR6 Expression on B Cells Is Not Required for Clinical or Pathological Presentation of MOG Protein-Induced Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis despite an Altered Germinal Center Response

Lee, DSW;Yam, JY;Grasmuck, C;Dasoveanu, D;Michel, L;Ward, LA;Rojas, OL;Zandee, S;Bourbonnière, L;Ramaglia, V;Bar-Or, A;Prat, A;Gommerman, JL;

B cells have been implicated in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis, but the mechanisms that guide B cell activation in the periphery and subsequent migration to the CNS remain incompletely understood. We previously showed that systemic inflammation induces an accumulation of B cells in the spleen in a CCR6/CCL20-dependent manner. In this study, we evaluated the role of CCR6/CCL20 in the context of myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) protein-induced (B cell-dependent) experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). We found that CCR6 is upregulated on murine B cells that migrate into the CNS during neuroinflammation. In addition, human B cells that migrate across CNS endothelium in vitro were found to be CCR6+, and we detected CCL20 production by activated CNS-derived human endothelial cells as well as a systemic increase in CCL20 protein during EAE. Although mice that lack CCR6 expression specifically on B cells exhibited an altered germinal center reaction in response to MOG protein immunization, CCR6-deficient B cells did not exhibit any competitive disadvantage in their migration to the CNS during EAE, and the clinical and pathological presentation of EAE induced by MOG protein was unaffected. These data, to our knowledge, provide new information on the role of B cell-intrinsic CCR6 expression in a B cell-dependent model of neuroinflammation.