The success of B cell depletion therapies and identification of leptomeningeal ectopic lymphoid tissue (ELT) in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) has renewed interest in the antibody-independent pathogenic functions of B cells during neuroinflammation. The timing and location of B cell antigen presentation during MS and its animal model experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) remain undefined. Using a new EAE system that incorporates temporal regulation of MHCII expression by myelin-specific B cells, we observed the rapid formation of large B cell clusters in the spinal cord subarachnoid space. Neutrophils preceded the accumulation of meningeal B cell clusters, and inhibition of CXCR2-mediated granulocyte trafficking to the central nervous system reduced pathogenic B cell clusters and disease severity. Further, B cell-restricted very late antigen-4 (VLA-4) deficiency abrogated EAE dependent on B cell antigen presentation. Together, our findings demonstrate that neutrophils coordinate VLA-4–dependent B cell accumulation within the meninges during neuroinflammation, a key early step in the formation of ELT observed in MS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24221-24230
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number48
StatePublished - Nov 26 2019


  • B cell
  • EAE
  • Multiple sclerosis


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