Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease characterised by lymphocytic infiltration of the central nervous system and subsequent destruction of myelin and axons. On the background of a genetic predisposition to autoimmunity, environmental triggers are assumed to initiate the disease. The majority of MS research has focused on the pathological involvement of lymphocytes and other immune cells, yet a paucity of attention has been given to erythrocytes, which may play an important role in MS pathology. The following review briefly summarises how erythrocytes may contribute to MS pathology through impaired antioxidant capacity and altered haemorheological features. The effect of disease-modifying therapies on erythrocytes is also reviewed. It may be important to further investigate erythrocytes in MS, as this could broaden the understanding of the pathological mechanisms of the disease, as well as potentially lead to the discovery of novel and innovative targets for future therapies.
Groen, K., Maltby, V. E., Sanders, K., Scott, R. J., Tajouri, L., & Lechner-Scott, J. (2016). Erythrocytes in multiple sclerosis: forgotten contributors to the pathophysiology? Multiple Sclerosis, 2, 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1177/2055217316649981