What causes the inflammation in the plaque

Inflammation in the nervous system is usually caused by white blood cells (WBCs), called lymphocytes

(mostly CD4+ cells); monocytes (macrophages) from the blood stream usually cause inflammation in the nervous system. Cells and fluids in the blood are normally restricted from entering the nervous system by the blood-brain barrier. This is formed by endothelial cells lining the venules with "tight junctions" uniquely occurring in the brain and spinal cord. A second layer of "foot processes" from astrocytes (star-like cells) buttresses this barrier. In the process of inflammation, these WBCs eat holes through the lining of the smallest blood vessels (venules) and enter the nervous system. Lymphocytes and macrophages are not normally present in the nervous system. However, in some patients, a different type of immune reaction occurs

Oligodendrocyte glial cells that give rise to the myelin sheath. Each cell forms several myelin sheaths.

White blood cells leukocytes of the blood. A general term used for all white blood cells including lymphocytes, polymorphonuclear leukocytes, and monocytes. Lymphocytes citizens of the immune system. Macrophages monocytes from the blood stream that have been "turned on" by interacting with lymphocytes. Monocytes part of the human immune system that protects against infections and moves quickly to sites of infection. Monocytes are responsible for phagocytosis, or digestion, of foreign substances in the body.

Antibody proteins made by the immune system to defend against infectious agents. At times, antibody may be directed against our own tissues, resulting in autoimmune disease. Antibody is produced when B-cells are stimulated by antigen.

Tuberculosis the disease that results from infection by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Although most commonly affecting the lungs, any tissue in the body can be involved.

where antibody is important in damaging myelin. In some, antibody may be the sole cause of myelin damage. In another group of patients with a different variation of MS, antibody damage may lead to additional damage that another kind of lymphocyte (CD8+ cells) causes. In ordinary cases of MS, it is not yet clear how important CD8-mediated damage is.

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