Bar-Or, Amit MD, FRCP(C)

Associate Professor

McGill University, Montreal Neurological Institute
3801 University Street, Montreal, QC H3A 2B4

Research Profile

Dr. Amit Bar-Or directs a cellular and molecular immunology lab studying mechanisms of autoimmune disease with a focus on multiple sclerosis (MS). His research is directed at understanding basic principles of immune regulation and immune-neural interactions.


Of particular interest are studies of B cell, antigen presenting cell, and T cell responses and their involvement in central nervous system inflammation. Studies of the immature immune system in the context of early onset (pediatric) MS, and reconstitution following immune ablation, are also being pursued, as are studies of immuneneural interaction. Dr. Bar-Or has established a program in ‘Experimental Therapeutics’, which aims to develop and incorporate novel immune assays into well-designed clinical trials of MS. This approach provides a unique opportunity to gain insights into disease mechanisms and to develop biomarkers of response to therapy while also evaluating the safety and efficacy of novel therapies in clinically well-characterized patients with MS.

Recent Publications

  • Makhani N, Banwell B, Tellier R, Yea C, McGovern S, O'Mahony J, Ahorro JM, Arnold D, Sadovnick AD, Marrie RA, Bar-Or A; Canadian Pediatric Demyelinating Disease Network. Viral exposures and MS outcome in a prospective cohort of children with acquired demyelination. Mult Scler. 2015 Jul 21. pii: 1352458515595876.
  • Mery V, Kimoff RJ, Suarez I, Benedetti A, Kaminska M, Robinson A, Lapierre Y, Bar-Or A, Trojan DA. High false-positive rate of questionnaire-based restless legs syndrome diagnosis in multiple sclerosis. Sleep Med. 2015 Jul;16(7):877-82. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2015.02.529.
  • O'Mahony J, Marrie RA, Laporte A, Yeh EA, Bar-Or A, Phan C, Buckley D, Callen D, Connolly MB, Pohl D, Dilenge ME, Bernard G, Lortie A, Lowry N, MacDonald EA, Meek D, Sébire G, Venkateswaran S, Wood E, Yager J, Banwell B. Recovery From Central Nervous System Acute Demyelination in Children. Pediatrics. 2015 Jul;136(1):e115-23. doi: 10.1542/peds.2015-0028.
  • Nyirenda MH, Morandi E, Vinkemeier U, Constantin-Teodosiu D, Drinkwater S, Mee M, King L, Podda G, Zhang GX, Ghaemmaghami A, Constantinescu CS, Bar-Or A, Gran B. TLR2 stimulation regulates the balance between regulatory T cell and Th17 function: a novel mechanism of reduced regulatory T cell function in multiple sclerosis. J Immunol. 2015 Jun 15;194(12):5761-74. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1400472.
  • Ahn JJ, O'Mahony J, Moshkova M, Hanwell HE, Singh H, Zhang MA, Marrie RA, Bar-Or A, Sadovnick DA, Dunn SE, Banwell BL. Puberty in females enhances the risk of an outcome of multiple sclerosis in children and the development of central nervous system autoimmunity in mice. Mult Scler. 2015 May;21(6):735-48. doi: 10.1177/1352458514551453.
  • Bin Dhuban K, d'Hennezel E, Nashi E, Bar-Or A, Rieder S, Shevach EM, Nagata S, Piccirillo CA. Coexpression of TIGIT and FCRL3 identifies Helios+ human memory regulatory T cells. J Immunol. 2015 Apr 15;194(8):3687-96. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1401803.
  • Bar-Or A, Wiendl H, Miller B, Benamor M, Truffinet P, Church M, Menguy-Vacheron F. Randomized study of teriflunomide effects on immune responses to neoantigen and recall antigens. Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm. 2015 Feb 12;2(2):e70. doi: 10.1212/NXI.0000000000000070. eCollection 2015 Apr.
  • Moore CS, Ase AR, Kinsara A, Rao VT, Michell-Robinson M, Leong SY, Butovsky O, Ludwin SK, Séguéla P, Bar-Or A, Antel JP. P2Y12 expression and function in alternatively activated human microglia. Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm. 2015 Mar 19;2(2):e80. doi: 10.1212/NXI.0000000000000080. eCollection 2015 Apr. Erratum in: Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm. 2015 Jun;2(3):e106.
  • Miller DH, Fox RJ, Phillips JT, Hutchinson M, Havrdova E, Kita M, Wheeler-Kingshott CA, Tozer DJ, MacManus DG, Yousry TA, Goodsell M, Yang M, Zhang R, Viglietta V, Dawson KT; CONFIRM study investigators. Effects of delayed-release dimethyl fumarate on MRI measures in the phase 3 CONFIRM study. Neurology. 2015 Mar 17;84(11):1145-52. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000001360.
  • Villar LM, Costa-Frossard L, Masterman T, Fernandez O, Montalban X, Casanova B, Izquierdo G, Coret F, Tumani H, Saiz A, Arroyo R, Fink K, Leyva L, Espejo C, Simó-Castelló M, García-Sánchez MI, Lauda F, Llufriú S, Álvarez-Lafuente R, Olascoaga J, Prada A, Oterino A, de Andrés C, Tintoré M, Ramió-Torrentà L, Rodríguez-Martín E, Picón C, Comabella M, Quintana E, Agüera E, Díaz S, Fernandez-Bolaños R, García-Merino JA, Landete L, Menéndez-González M, Navarro L, Pérez D, Sánchez-López F, Serrano-Castro PJ, Tuñón A, Espiño M, Muriel A, Bar-Or A, Álvarez-Cermeño JC. Lipid-specific immunoglobulin M bands in cerebrospinal fluid are associated with a reduced risk of developing progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy during treatment with natalizumab. Ann Neurol. 2015 Mar;77(3):447-57. doi: 10.1002/ana.24345.
  • Stork L, Brück W, Bar-Or A, Metz I. High CCR5 expression in natalizumab-associated progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome supports treatment with the CCR5 inhibitor maraviroc. Acta Neuropathol. 2015 Mar;129(3):467-8. doi: 10.1007/s00401-015-1391-6.
  • Viglietta V, Miller D, Bar-Or A, Phillips JT, Arnold DL, Selmaj K, Kita M, Hutchinson M, Yang M, Zhang R, Dawson KT, Sheikh SI, Fox RJ, Gold R. Efficacy of delayed-release dimethyl fumarate in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: integrated analysis of the phase 3 trials. Ann Clin Transl Neurol. 2015 Feb;2(2):103-18. doi: 10.1002/acn3.148.
  • Moore CS, Cui QL, Warsi NM, Durafourt BA, Zorko N, Owen DR, Antel JP, Bar-Or A. Direct and indirect effects of immune and central nervous system-resident cells on human oligodendrocyte progenitor cell differentiation. J Immunol. 2015 Jan 15;194(2):761-72. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1401156.
  • Quintana FJ, Patel B, Yeste A, Nyirenda M, Kenison J, Rahbari R, Fetco D, Hussain M, O'Mahony J, Magalhaes S, McGowan M, Johnson T, Rajasekharan S, Narayanan S, Arnold DL, Weiner HL, Banwell B, Bar-Or A; Canadian Pediatric Demyelinating Disease Network. Epitope spreading as an early pathogenic event in pediatric multiple sclerosis. Neurology. 2014 Dec 9;83(24):2219-26. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000001066.
  • Amrom D, Kinay D, Hart Y, Berkovic SF, Laxer K, Andermann F, Andermann E, Bar-Or A. Rasmussen encephalitis and comorbid autoimmune diseases: A window into disease mechanism? Neurology. 2014 Sep 16;83(12):1049-55. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000000791. Epub 2014 Aug 20.
  • Arnold DL, Gold R, Kappos L, Bar-Or A, Giovannoni G, Selmaj K, Yang M, Zhang R, Stephan M, Sheikh SI, Dawson KT. Effects of delayed-release dimethyl fumarate on MRI measures in the Phase 3 DEFINE study. J Neurol. 2014 Sep;261(9):1794-802. doi: 10.1007/s00415-014-7412-x. Epub 2014 Jul 3.
  • Villar LM, Casanova B, Ouamara N, Comabella M, Jalili F, Leppert D, de Andrés C, Izquierdo G, Arroyo R, Avşar T, Lapin SV, Johnson T, Montalbán X, Fernández O, Álvarez-Lafuente R, Masterman D, García-Sánchez MI, Coret F, Siva A, Evdoshenko E, Álvarez-Cermeño JC, Bar-Or A. Immunoglobulin M oligoclonal bands: biomarker of targetable inflammation in primary progressive multiple sclerosis. Ann Neurol. 2014 Aug;76(2):231-40. doi: 10.1002/ana.24190.
  • Shen P, Roch T, Lampropoulou V, O'Connor RA, Stervbo U, Hilgenberg E, Ries S, Dang VD, Jaimes Y, Daridon C, Li R, Jouneau L, Boudinot P, Wilantri S, Sakwa I, Miyazaki Y, Leech MD, McPherson RC, Wirtz S, Neurath M, Hoehlig K, Meinl E, Grützkau A, Grün JR, Horn K, Kühl AA, Dörner T, Bar-Or A, Kaufmann SH, Anderton SM, Fillatreau S. IL-35-producing B cells are critical regulators of immunity during autoimmune and infectious diseases. Nature. 2014 Mar 20;507(7492):366-70. doi: 10.1038/nature12979.
  • Sato DK, Nakashima I, Bar-Or A, Misu T, Suzuki C, Nishiyama S, Kuroda H, Fujihara K, Aoki M. Changes in Th17 and regulatory T cells after fingolimod initiation to treat multiple sclerosis. J Neuroimmunol. 2014 Mar 15;268(1-2):95-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2014.01.008.
  • Zastepa E, Fitz-Gerald L, Hallett M, Antel J, Bar-Or A, Baranzini S, Lapierre Y, Haegert DG. Naive CD4 T-cell activation identifies MS patients having rapid transition to progressive MS. Neurology. 2014 Feb 25;82(8):681-90. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000000146. Epub 2014 Jan 22. Erratum in: Neurology. 2014 Apr 1;82(13):1193.
  • Kappos L, Gold R, Arnold DL, Bar-Or A, Giovannoni G, Selmaj K, Sarda SP, Agarwal S, Zhang A, Sheikh SI, Seidman E, Dawson KT. Quality of life outcomes with BG-12 (dimethyl fumarate) in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: the DEFINE study. Mult Scler. 2014 Feb;20(2):243-52. doi: 10.1177/1352458513507817.
  • PS, Rozenberg A, Metz I, Araujo D, Arbour N, Bar-Or A; Maraviroc in Multiple Sclerosis–Associated PML–IRIS (MIMSAPI) Group. Maraviroc and JC virus-associated immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome. N Engl J Med. 2014 Jan 30;370(5):486-8. doi: 10.1056/NEJMc1304828.
  • Miyazaki Y, Li R, Rezk A, Misirliyan H, Moore C, Farooqi N, Solis M, Goiry LG, de Faria Junior O, Dang VD, Colman D, Dhaunchak AS, Antel J, Gommerman J, Prat A, Fillatreau S, Bar-Or A; CIHR/MSSC New Emerging Team Grant in Clinical Autoimmunity; MSSRF Canadian B cells in MS Team. A novel microRNA-132-surtuin-1 axis underlies aberrant B-cell cytokine regulation in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. PLoS One. 2014 Aug 19;9(8):e105421. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0105421. eCollection 2014.
  • Posevitz-Fejfár A, Posevitz V, Gross CC, Bhatia U, Kurth F, Schütte V, Bar-Or A, Meuth SG, Wiendl H. Effects of blood transportation on human peripheral mononuclear cell yield, phenotype and function: implications for immune cell biobanking. PLoS One. 2014 Dec 26;9(12):e115920. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0115920. eCollection 2014.