Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is a T cell-mediated autoimmune disease of the CNS. Metformin is the most widely used drug for diabetes and mediates its action via activating AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). We provide evidence that metformin attenuates the induction of EAE by restricting the infiltration of mononuclear cells into the CNS, down-regulating the expression of proinflammatory cytokines (IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-6, IL-17, and inducible NO synthase (iNOS)), cell adhesion molecules, matrix metalloproteinase 9, and chemokine (RANTES). Furthermore, the AMPK activity and lipids alterations (total phospholipids and in free fatty acids) were restored by metformin treatment in the CNS of treated EAE animals, suggesting the possible involvement of AMPK. Metformin activated AMPK in macrophages and thereby inhibited biosynthesis of phospholipids as well as neutral lipids and also down-regulated the expression of endotoxin (LPS)-induced proinflammatory cytokines and their mediators (iNOS and cyclooxygenase 2). It also attenuated IFN-γ and IL-17-induced iNOS and cyclooxygenase 2 expression in RAW267.4 cells, further supporting its anti-inflammatory property. Metformin inhibited T cell-mediated immune responses including Ag-specific recall responses and production of Th1 or Th17 cytokines, while it induced the generation of IL-10 in spleen cells of treated EAE animals. Altogether these findings reveal that metformin may have a possible therapeutic value for the treatment of multiple sclerosis and other inflammatory diseases.
Experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) is a model of antigen- specific T cell-mediated autoimmune disease. The alpha-acetylated, NH2- terminal nine amino acids (1-9NAc) of myelin basic protein (MBP) represents the dominant T cell epitope for the induction of EAE in the B10.PL (H-2u) strain. We tolerized neonatal B10.PL mice to 1-9NAc and studied the proliferative responses to this peptide and to whole MBP. Mice exposed to 1-9NAc in the neonatal period were tolerant to subsequent challenge at the proliferative T cell level. Similarly, in the 1-9NAc-tolerant group, both the incidence and severity of 1-9NAc induced EAE were greatly reduced. The fact that we were able to tolerize mice normally responsive to MBP suggests that this self antigen is sequestered (within the central nervous system) and hence tolerance to it is not normally induced. No significant difference in disease incidence was seen in response to rat MBP between control animals and 1-9NAc-tolerized mice (50% in both groups), demonstrating the presence of at least one additional encephalitogenic determinant elsewhere on the molecule. We have successfully prevented disease induction by peptide-induced tolerization. Tolerance induction by peptides provides a new and specific strategy in the prevention of autoimmunity. However, it will be clearly necessary to fully define all epitopes potentially capable of inducing pathogenic T cells to ensure complete and effective therapy of T cell-mediated autoimmune disease.
Sinomenine is a bioactive alkaloid isolated from the Chinese medicinal plant Sinomenium acutum. It is widely used as an immunosuppressive drug for treating rheumatic and arthritic diseases. In our previous studies, we found that sinomenine reduced cellular infiltration within the spinal cord and alleviated experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in rats. In this study, we further investigated the mechanisms of sinomenine treatment in EAE rats. In EAE rats, treatment with sinomenine exerted an anti-inducible NO synthase (anti-iNOS) effect, which is related to the reductions of Th1 cytokine interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and its transcription factor, T-bet, in spinal cords. Moreover, sinomenine treatment of splenocytes stimulated with anti-CD3 antibody and recombinant rat interleukin 12 reduced the expression of T-bet and IFN-γ in vitro and also reduced the capability of supernatants of splenocyte culture to induce iNOS expression by primary astrocytes. However, sinomenine had no direct inhibitory effect on iNOS produced by astrocytes cultured with IFN-γ and tumor necrosis factor α in vitro. In conclusion, the anti-iNOS effect of sinomenine on EAE is mediated via the suppression of T-bet /IFN-γ pathway.
sinomenine; experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis; iNOS; T-bet; interferon-γ (IFN-γ)
Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is an animal model for studying multiple sclerosis (MS). Calpain has been implicated in many inflammatory and neurodegenerative events that lead to disability in EAE and MS. Thus, treating EAE animals with calpain inhibitors may block these events and ameliorate disability. To test this hypothesis, acute EAE Lewis rats were treated dose-dependently with the calpain inhibitor calpeptin (50 – 250 µg/kg). Calpain activity, gliosis, loss of myelin, and axonal damage were attenuated by calpeptin therapy, leading to improved clinical scores. Neuronal and oligodendrocyte death were also decreased with down regulation of pro-apoptotic proteins, suggesting that decreases in cell death were due to decreases in the expression or activity of pro-apoptotic proteins. These results indicate that calpain inhibition may offer a novel therapeutic avenue for treating EAE and MS.
apoptosis; axonal damage; calpain; calpeptin; EAE
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune neuroinflammatory disease found mostly in young adults in the western world. Oxidative stress induced neuronal apoptosis plays an important role in the pathogenesis of MS. In current study, astragaloside IV (ASI), a natural saponin molecule isolated from Astragalus membranceus, given at 20 mg/kg daily attenuated the severity of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in mice significantly. Further studies disclosed that ASI treatment inhibited the increase of ROS and pro-inflammatory cytokine levels, down-regulation of SOD and GSH-Px activities, and elevation of iNOS, p53 and phosphorylated tau in central nervous system (CNS) as well as the leakage of BBB of EAE mice. Meanwhile, the decreased ratio of Bcl-2/Bax was reversed by ASI. Moreover, ASI regulated T-cell differentiation and infiltration into CNS. In neuroblast SH-SY5Y cells, ASI dose-dependently reduced cellular ROS level and phosphorylation of tau in response to hydrogen peroxide challenge by modulation of Bcl-2/Bax ratio. ASI also inhibited activation of microglia both in vivo and in vitro. iNOS up-regulation induced by IFNγ stimulation was abolished by ASI dose-dependently in BV-2 cells. In summary, ASI prevented the severity of EAE progression possibly by counterbalancing oxidative stress and its effects via reduction of cellular ROS level, enhancement of antioxidant defense system, increase of anti-apoptotic and anti-inflammatory pathways, as well as modulation of T-cell differentiation and infiltration into CNS. The study suggested ASI may be effective for clinical therapy/prevention of MS.
We explore here if vaccination with DNA encoding an autoantigenic peptide can suppress autoimmune disease. For this purpose we used experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), which is an autoaggressive disease in the central nervous system and an animal model for multiple sclerosis. Lewis rats were vaccinated with DNA encoding an encephalitogenic T cell epitope, guinea pig myelin basic protein peptide 68–85 (MBP68–85), before induction of EAE with MBP68–85 in complete Freund's adjuvant. Compared to vaccination with a control DNA construct, the vaccination suppressed clinical and histopathological signs of EAE, and reduced the interferon γ production after challenge with MBP68–85. Targeting of the gene product to Fc of IgG was essential for this effect. There were no signs of a Th2 cytokine bias. Our data suggest that DNA vaccines encoding autoantigenic peptides may be useful tools in controlling autoimmune disease.
Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a well-established model of multiple sclerosis, is characterised by microglial activation and lymphocyte infiltration. Induction of EAE in Lewis rats produces an acute monophasic disease characterised by a single peak of disability followed by a spontaneous and complete recovery and a subsequent tolerance to further immunizations. In the current study we have performed a detailed analysis of the dynamics of different lymphocyte populations and cytokine profile along the induction, peak, recovery and post-recovery phases in this paradigm. MBP-injected rats were sacrificed attending exclusively to their clinical score, and the different populations of T-lymphocytes as well as the dynamics of different pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines were analysed in the spinal cord by flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry and ELISA. Our results revealed that, during the induction and peak phases, in parallel to an increase in symptomatology, the number of CD3+ and CD4+ cells increased progressively, showing a Th1 phenotype, but unexpectedly during recovery, although clinical signs progressively decreased, the number and proportion of CD3+ and CD4+ populations remained unaltered. Interestingly, during this recovery phase, we observed a marked decrease of Th1 and an important increase in Th17 and T-reg cells. Moreover, our results indicate a specific cytokine expression profile along the EAE course characterized by no changes of IL10 and IL17 levels, decrease of IL21 on the peak, and high IL22 levels during the induction and peak phases that markedly decrease during recovery. In summary, these results revealed the existence of a specific pattern of lymphocyte infiltration and cytokine secretion along the different phases of the acute EAE model in Lewis rat that differs from those already described in chronic or relapsing-remitting mouse models, where Th17-cells were found mostly during the peak, suggesting a specific role of these lymphocytes and cytokines in the evolution of this acute EAE model.
Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in Lewis rats is an acute monophasic paralytic central nervous system disease, in which most rats spontaneously recover from paralysis. EAE in Lewis rats is induced by encephalitogenic antigens, including myelin basic protein. EAE is mediated by CD4+ Th1 cells, which secrete pro-inflammatory mediators, and spontaneous recovery is mediated by regulatory T cells. Recently, it was established that classically activated macrophages (M1 phenotype) play an important role in the initiation of EAE, while alternatively activated macrophages (M2 phenotype) contribute to spontaneous recovery from rat EAE. This review will summarize the neuroimmunological aspects of active monophasic EAE, which manifests as neuroinflammation followed by neuroimmunomodulation and/or neuroprotection, with a focus on the role of alternatively activated macrophages.
Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis; Lewis rats; Macrophages; Neuroimmunomodulation; Regulatory T lymphocytes
Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is mediated by myelin-specific CD4+ T cells secreting Th1 cytokines, while recovery from disease is associated with expression of Th2 cytokines. Investigations into the role of individual cytokines in disease induction have yielded contradictory results. Here we used animals with targeted deletion of the STAT4 or STAT6 genes to determine the role of these signaling molecules in EAE. The STAT4 pathway controls the differentiation of cells into a Th1 phenotype, while the STAT6 pathway controls the differentiation of cells into a Th2 phenotype. We found that mice deficient in STAT4 are resistant to the induction of EAE, with minimal inflammatory infiltrates in the central nervous system. In contrast, STAT6-deficient mice, which have a predominantly Th1 phenotype, experience a more severe clinical course of EAE as compared with wild-type or STAT4 knockout mice. In addition, adoptive transfer studies confirm the regulatory functions of a Th2 environment in vivo. These novel data indicate that STAT4 and STAT6 genes play a critical role in regulating the autoimmune response in EAE.
Infectious agents have been proposed to influence susceptibility to autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis. We induced a Th1-mediated central nervous system (CNS) autoimmune disease, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in mice with an ongoing infection with Mycobacterium bovis strain bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) to study this possibility. C57BL/6 mice infected with live BCG for 6 weeks were immunized with myelin oligodendroglial glycoprotein peptide (MOG35-55) to induce EAE. The clinical severity of EAE was reduced in BCG-infected mice in a BCG dose-dependent manner. Inflammatory-cell infiltration and demyelination of the spinal cord were significantly lessened in BCG-infected animals compared with uninfected EAE controls. ELISPOT and gamma interferon intracellular cytokine analysis of the frequency of antigen-specific CD4+ T cells in the CNS and in BCG-induced granulomas and adoptive transfer of MOG35-55-specific green fluorescent protein-expressing cells into BCG-infected animals indicated that nervous tissue-specific (MOG35-55) CD4+ T cells accumulate in the BCG-induced granuloma sites. These data suggest a novel mechanism for infection-mediated modulation of autoimmunity. We demonstrate that redirected trafficking of activated CNS antigen-specific CD4+ T cells to local inflammatory sites induced by BCG infection modulates the initiation and progression of a Th1-mediated CNS autoimmune disease.
Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system (CNS) and has been used as an animal model for study of the human demyelinating disease, multiple sclerosis (MS). EAE is characterized by pathologic infiltration of mononuclear cells into the CNS and by clinical manifestation of paralytic disease. Similar to MS, EAE is also under genetic control in that certain mouse strains are susceptible to disease induction while others are resistant. Typically, C57BL/6 (H-2b) mice immunized with myelin basic protein (MBP) fail to develop paralytic signs. This unresponsiveness is certainly not due to defects in antigen processing or antigen presentation of MBP, as an experimental protocol described here had been used to induce severe EAE in C57BL/6 mice as well as other reputed resistant mouse strains. In addition, encephalitogenic T cell clones from C57BL/6 and Balb/c mice reactive to MBP had been successfully isolated and propagated.
The experimental protocol (Figure 1) involves using a cellular adoptive transfer system in which MBP-primed (200 μg/mouse) C57BL/6 donor lymph node cells are isolated and cultured for five days with the antigen to expand the pool of MBP-specific T cells. At the end of the culture period, 50 million viable cells are transferred into naive syngeneic recipients through the tail vein. Recipient mice so treated normally do not develop EAE, thus reaffirming their resistant status, and they can remain normal indefinitely. Ten days post cell transfer, recipient mice are challenged with complete Freund adjuvant (CFA)-emulsified MBP in four sites in the flanks. Severe EAE starts to develop in these mice ten to fourteen days after challenge (see Table I). Results showed that the induction of disease was antigenic specific as challenge with irrelevant antigens did not induce clinical signs of disease (see Table II). Significantly, a titration of the antigen dose used to challenge the recipient mice showed that it could be as low as 5μg/mouse (see Table III). In addition, a kinetic study of the timing of antigenic challenge showed that challenge to induce disease was effective as early as 5 days post antigenic challenge and as long as over 445 days post antigenic challenge (see Table IV). These data strongly point toward the involvement of a “long-lived” T cell population in maintaining unresponsiveness. The involvement of regulatory T cells (Tregs) in this system is not defined.
Autoimmune diseases; experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis; immunization; myelin basic protein; adoptive transfer; paralysis
In the work presented here, we explored the influence of leptin on the kinetics of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) onset, in the EAE-associated inflammatory anorexia, and in the development of pathogenic T cell responses. We found that the expression of serum leptin increased before the clinical onset of EAE in disease-susceptible C57BL/6J (H-2b) and SJL/J (H-2s) strains of mice, which are models of chronic-progressive and relapsing-remitting EAE, respectively. This increase in serum leptin correlated with disease susceptibility, reduction in food intake, and decrease in body weight. Indeed, acute starvation, which is able to prevent the increase in serum leptin, delayed disease onset and attenuated clinical symptoms by inducing a T helper 2 cytokine switch. Furthermore, immunohistochemical analysis revealed a parallel in situ production of leptin in inflammatory infiltrates and in neurons only during the acute/active phase of both chronic-progressive and relapsing-remitting EAE. We also found that leptin secretion by activated T cells sustained their proliferation in an autocrine loop, since antileptin receptor antibodies were able to inhibit the proliferative response of autoreactive T cells in vitro. Given that leptin appears to regulate EAE susceptibility, inflammatory anorexia, and pathogenic T-cell immune function, we postulate that it may offer a potential target in the treatment of multiple sclerosis.
The administration of interleukin 33 and deletion of IL-33 receptor, ST2 molecule, affects the induction of autoimmunity in different experimental models of human autoimmune diseases. The aim of this study was to analyze the effect of ST2 deletion on the induction of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in resistant BALB/c mice. Mice were immunized with MOG35–55 peptide or disease was induced by passive transfer of encephalitogenic singenic cells and EAE was clinically and histologically evaluated. Expression of intracellular inflammatory cytokines, markers of activation and chemokine receptors on lymphoid tissue and CNS infiltrating mononuclear cells was analyzed by flow cytometry. We report here that deletion of ST2−/− molecule abrogates resistance of BALB/c mice to EAE induction based on clinical and histopathological findings. Brain and spinal cord infiltrates of ST2−/− mice had significantly higher number of CD4+ T lymphocytes containing inflammatory cytokines compared to BALB/c WT mice. Adoptive transfer of ST2−/− primed lymphocytes induced clinical signs of the disease in ST2−/− as well as in WT mice. MOG35–55 restimulated ST2−/− CD4+ cells as well as ex vivo analyzed lymph node cells had higher expression of T-bet and IL-17, IFN-γ, TNF-α and GM-CSF in comparison with WT CD4+ cells. ST2−/− mice had higher percentages of CD4+ cells expressing chemokine receptors important for migration to CNS in comparison with WT CD4+ cells. Draining lymph nodes of ST2−/− mice contained higher percentage of CD11c+CD11b+CD8− cells containing inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and IL-12 with higher expression of activation markers. Transfer of ST2−/− but not WT dendritic cells induced EAE in MOG35–55 immunized WT mice. Our results indicate that ST2 deficiency attenuates inherent resistance of BALB/c mice to EAE induction by enhancing differentiation of proinflammatory antigen presenting cells and consecutive differentiation of encephalitogenic T cells in the draining lymph node rather than affecting their action in the target tissue.
Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is generally believed to be an autoimmune disease caused by myelin-specific Th1 and/or Th17 effector cells. The underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms are not fully understood. With mice deficient in IL-9 (IL-9−/−), we showed that IL-9 plays a critical role in EAE. Specifically, IL-9−/− mice were resistant to the induction of EAE both by immunization with PLP180-199 peptide in the presence of Complete Freund’s Adjuvant (CFA) and by adoptive transfer of PLP180-199 peptide-specific effector T cells from WT littermates. EAE-resistant IL-9−/− mice exhibited considerably fewer inflammatory infiltrates in the central nervous system, with lower levels of IL-17 and IFN-λ expression, than did WT littermates. Further studies revealed that null mutation of the IL-9 gene resulted in significantly lower levels of PLP180-199 peptide-specific IL-17 and IFN-λ production. Moreover, IL-9−/− memory/activated T cells decreased chemokine receptors CCR2, CCR5 and CCR6. Interestingly, IL-10 was significantly increased in IL-9−/− mice compared to WT littermates. Importantly, we found that IL-9 mediated Th17 cell differentiation triggers complex STAT signaling pathways.
IL-9; Encephalitogenic T cells; STAT signaling pathway
Previously, we demonstrated that electroacupuncture (EA) decreased lymphocyte infiltration into the spinal cords of rats presenting with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a disease model used in the study of multiple sclerosis (MS). The aim of this study was to characterize the effects of EA on the EAE. Female Lewis rats were divided into either CFA, EAE, EA, or injection with naloxone after electroacupuncture (NAL) groups. Electroacupuncture was administered every day for 21 days. To evaluate proliferation and apoptosis, lymphocytes from rats presenting with EAE were collected and cultured with β-endorphin. Immunohistochemisty, flow cytometry and radio-immunity methods were applied to detect the expression of β-endorphin. Results presented in this report demonstrate that the beneficial anti-inflammatory effects of EA on EAE were related to β-endorphin production that balances the Thl/Th2 and Th17/Treg responses. These results suggest that β-endorphin could be an important component in the development of EA-based therapies used for the treatment of EAE.
Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in the Lewis rat is a self-limited inflammatory process localized to the central nervous system that is induced by the injection of myelin basic protein (MBP) in adjuvant. Oral administration of MBP suppresses EAE, and this suppression is mediated by CD8+ T cells that adoptively transfer protection and suppress both in vitro and in vivo by the release of transforming growth factor (TGF) beta after antigen-specific triggering. Furthermore, oral tolerance to MBP is enhanced by the concomitant oral administration of lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The present study was undertaken to determine whether the disease course in EAE and its suppression by oral tolerization to MBP is associated with distinct patterns of cytokine expression in the target organ. Detailed immunohistology of the brain was performed at the peak of clinical disease (day 14 after immunization) and after recovery (day 18) in control (ovalbumin [OVA]-fed), MBP-fed, and MBP plus LPS-fed animals. Brains from OVA-fed animals at the peak of disease showed perivascular infiltration with activated mononuclear cells which secreted the inflammatory cytokines interleukins (IL) 1, 2, 6, 8, TNF-alpha, and interferon gamma. The inhibitory cytokines TGF-beta and IL-4, and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) were absent. In MBP orally tolerized animals there was a marked reduction of the perivascular infiltrate and downregulation of all inflammatory cytokines. In addition, there was upregulation of the inhibitory cytokine TGF-beta. In MBP plus LPS orally tolerized animals, in addition to upregulation of TGF-beta and reduction of inflammatory cytokines, there was enhanced expression of IL-4 and PGE2, presumably secondary to activation of an additional population of immunoregulatory cells. In OVA-fed animals that had recovered (day 18), staining for inflammatory cytokines diminished, and there was the appearance of TGF-beta and IL-4. These results suggest that suppression of EAE, either induced by oral tolerization or that which occurs during natural recovery is related to the secretion of inhibitory cytokines or factors that actively suppress the inflammatory process in the target organ.
Experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) is the animal model for multiple sclerosis. This study explores a novel use of sodium benzoate (NaB), a commonly used food additive and a Food and Drug Administration-approved nontoxic drug for urea cycle disorders, in treating the disease process of relapsing-remitting EAE in female SJL/J mice. NaB, administered through drinking water at physiologically tolerable doses, ameliorated clinical symptoms and disease progression of EAE in recipient mice and suppressed the generation of encephalitogenic T cells in donor mice. Histological studies reveal that NaB effectively inhibited infiltration of mononuclear cells and demyelination in the spinal cord of EAE mice. Consequently, NaB also suppressed the expression of proinflammatory molecules and normalized myelin gene expression in the CNS of EAE mice. Furthermore, we observed that NaB switched the differentiation of myelin basic protein-primed T cells from Th1 to Th2 mode, enriched regulatory T cell population, and down-regulated the expression of various contact molecules in T cells. Taken together, our results suggest that NaB modifies encephalitogenic T cells at multiple steps and that NaB may have therapeutic importance in multiple sclerosis.
Lewis rats with experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE), induced either by the subcutaneous injection of guinea pig myelin basic protein (MBP) or by the adoptive transfer of MBP-primed spleen cells, suffer from a single episode of paralysis from which they recover spontaneously. Animals developing EAE were found to have greatly elevated levels of corticosterone in the blood. This endogenous increase in steroid production was accompanied by lymphopenia and depressed delayed-type hypersensitivity responses to OVA, indicating that rats with EAE are immunosuppressed in an antigen-nonspecific fashion. Adrenalectomized rats given subcutaneous implants of corticosterone to maintain basal steroid levels invariably died when EAE was induced. However, if the steroid replacement therapy was adjusted to mimic the hormone levels that were observed in intact rats developing EAE, then the disease followed a nonfatal course closely resembling that seen in the nonadrenalectomized controls. Replacement therapy that achieved serum corticosterone levels slightly higher than those found in intact rats with EAE virtually suppressed the disease completely. It is concluded that endogenous corticosterone release in rats with EAE plays an essential role in the spontaneous recovery that is observed in this condition. However, the subsequent refractory phase that is characteristic of rats that have recovered from EAE induced by active immunization with MBP is not associated with chronically elevated corticosterone levels. This finding is discussed in the light of other data that suggest that unlike the spontaneous recovery, the refractory state has an immunological basis rather than an endocrinological basis.
Glucocorticoids have been shown to be effective in the treatment of autoimmune diseases of the CNS such as multiple sclerosis and its animal model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). However, the mechanisms and the site of glucocorticoids' actions are still not completely defined. The aim of this study was to investigate the in vivo effect of the synthetic glucocorticoid methylprednisolone (MP) on the expression and production of proinflammatory cytokines interferon (IFN)-γ and interleukin (IL)-17 by cells infiltrating CNS tissue.
Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis was induced in Dark Agouti (DA) rats by immunization with rat spinal cord homogenate mixed with adjuvants. Commencing on the day when the first EAE signs appeared, DA rats were injected daily for 3 days with MP and/or RU486, an antagonist of glucocorticoid receptor. Cytokine production and gene expression in CNS-infiltrating cells and lymph node cells were measured using ELISA and real time PCR, respectively.
Treatment of rats with MP ameliorated EAE, and the animals recovered without relapses. Further, MP inhibited IFN-γ and IL-17 expression and production in cells isolated from the CNS of DA rats with EAE after the last injection of MP. The observed effect of MP in vivo treatment was not mediated through depletion of CD4+ T cells among CNS infiltrating cells, or through induction of their apoptosis within the CNS. Finally, the glucocorticoid receptor-antagonist RU486 prevented the inhibitory effect of MP on IFN-γ and IL-17 production both in vitro and in vivo, thus indicating that the observed effects of MP were mediated through glucocorticoid receptor-dependent mechanisms.
Taken together, these results demonstrate that amelioration of EAE by exogenous glucocorticoids might be, at least partly, ascribed to the limitation of effector cell functions in the target tissue.
Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is a CD4+ T cell-mediated inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS) that serves as a model for multiple sclerosis (MS). Notch receptor signaling in T lymphocytes has been shown to regulate thymic selection and peripheral differentiation. In the present study we hypothesized that Notch ligand–receptor interaction affects EAE development by regulating encephalitogenic T cell trafficking. We demonstrate that CNS-infiltrating myeloid DC, macrophages, and resident microglia expressed Delta-like ligand 4 (DLL4) following EAE induction. Treatment of mice with a DLL4-specific blocking antibody significantly inhibited the development of clinical disease induced by active priming. Furthermore, the treatment resulted in decreased CNS accumulation of mononuclear cells in the CNS. Anti-DLL4 treatment did not significantly alter development of effector cytokine expression by antigen-specific T cells. In contrast, anti-DLL4 treatment reduced T cell mRNA and functional cell surface expression of the chemokine receptors CCR2 and CCR6. Adoptive transfer of antigen-specific T cells to mice treated with anti-DLL4 resulted in decreased clinical severity and diminished antigen-specific CD4+ T cell accumulation in the CNS. These results suggest a role for DLL4 regulation of EAE pathogenesis through modulation of T cell chemokine receptor expression and migration to the CNS.
Although both the T and B cells of the Lewis rat have immunoglobulin receptors for basic protein (BP) of myelin, and both cell types are required for antibody production to BP, the present results demonstrate that the T cells are the only cells required for the induction of experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE). Both EAE and anti-BP were readily induced in thymectomized, irradiated Lewis rats reconstituted with normal thymus and bone marrow cells and challenged with BP in complete Freund's adjuvant. If the thymus cells were first treated with BP heavily labeled with 125I so as to eliminate (sucide) specific T cells, the recipients neither develop EAE nor produce antibody to BP. On the other hand, if the thymus cells were untreated and the specific B cells of bone marrow were eliminated by treatment with 125I-BP, EAE was not inhibited, although no antibody was produced. These results strongly suggest that the T cell is responsible for the induction of EAE although both the T and B cells are competent to respond to BP. Evidence was presented which suggests that neither suppressor T cells nor circulating antibody are involved in the inhibition of EAE by injection of Lewis rats with nonencephalitogenic preparations of BP. The immune status of T and B cells of the Lewis rat to BP was compared with the immune status of these cells in other species to thyroglobulin, where only the B cells appear to be competent. In this context, Brown Norway rats, which are resistant to the induction of EAE, also appear to lack T cells reactive to BP, although competent B cells are present.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) and an animal model resembling MS, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), are inflammatory demyelinating diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) that are suppressed by systemic mycobacterial infection in mice and BCG vaccination in humans. Host defense responses against Mycobacterium in mice are influenced by T lymphocytes and their cytokine products, particularly IFN-γ, which plays a protective regulatory role in EAE. To analyze the counter-regulatory role of mycobacterial infection-induced IFN-γ in the CNS on the function of the pathological Th17 cells and the clinical outcome of EAE, we induced EAE in mice that were intracerebrally infected with Mycobacterium bovis bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG). Here we demonstrate that intracerebral (i.c.) BCG infection prevented inflammatory cell recruitment to the spinal cord and suppressed the development of EAE. Concomitantly, there was a significant decrease in the frequency of MOG-specific IFN-γ-producing CD4+ T cells in the CNS. IL-17+CD4+ T cell responses were significantly suppressed in i.c. BCG-infected mice following EAE induction regardless of T cell specificity. The frequency of Foxp3+CD4+ T cells in these mice was equivalent to that of control mice. The i.c. BCG infection-induced protection of EAE and suppression of MOG-specific IL-17+CD4+ T cell responses were similar in both wild type (WT) and IFN-γ deficient mice. These data show that live BCG infection in the brain suppresses CNS autoimmunity. These findings also reveal that the regulation of Th17-mediated autoimmunity in the CNS can be independent of IFN-γ-mediated mechanisms.
Autoimmune disease; T lymphocytes; mycobacterial infection; BCG; IL-17; IFN-γ; immunoregulation; CNS
Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) and Theiler’s Murine Encephalitis Virus-Induced Demyelinating Disease (TMEV-IDD) are two clinically relevant murine models of multiple sclerosis (MS). Like MS, both are characterized by mononuclear cell infiltration into the CNS and demyelination. EAE is induced by either the administration of myelin protein or peptide in adjuvant or by the adoptive transfer of encephalitogenic T cell blasts into naïve recipients. The relative merits of each of these protocols are compared. Depending on the type of question being asked, different mouse strains and peptides are used. Different disease courses are observed with different strains and different peptides in active EAE. These variations are also addressed. Additionally, issues relevant to clinical grading of EAE in mice are discussed. In addition to EAE induction, useful references for other disease indicators such as DTH, in vitro proliferation, and immunohistochemistry are provided. TMEV-IDD is a useful model for understanding the possible viral etiology of MS. This section provides detailed information on the preparation of viral stocks and subsequent intracerebral infection of mice. Additionally, virus plaque assay and clinical disease assessment are discussed. Recently, recombinant TMEV strains have been created for the study of molecular mimicry which incorporate various 30 amino acid myelin epitopes within the leader region of TMEV.
Multiple sclerosis; Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis; EAE; Emulsion; Active induction; Adoptive transfer; T cell blasts; Encephalitogenic; Neurodegeneration; Theiler’s murine encephalomyelitis virus-induced demyelinating disease; PLP; MOG; Myelin; MBP; VP2; VP3; Relapsing–remitting; Epitope spreading
Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is a CD4+ T lymphocyte–mediated disease of the central nervous system (CNS) characterized by mononuclear cell infiltration, demyelination, and paralysis. We previously demonstrated a role for chemokines in acute and relapsing EAE pathogenesis. Presently, we investigated the role of CC chemokine receptor 2 (CCR2) in acute EAE. CCR2−/− mice did not develop clinical EAE or CNS histopathology, and showed a significant reduction in T cell– and CNS-infiltrating CD45highF4/80+ monocyte subpopulations. Peripheral lymphocytes from CCR2−/− mice produced comparable levels of interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) and interleukin (IL)-2 in response to antigen-specific restimulation when compared with control mice. Adoptively transferred myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein 35-55–specific T cells lacking expression of CCR2 were able to induce EAE, whereas CCR2−/− recipients of wild-type T cells failed to develop disease. These results suggest that CCR2 expression on host-derived mononuclear cells is critical for disease induction.
multiple sclerosis; experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis; CC chemokine receptor 2; knockout; CCL2
Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is the most relevant animal model to study demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis. EAE can be induced by active (active EAE) or passive (at-EAE) transfer of activated T cells in several species and strains of rodents. However, histological features of at-EAE model in C57BL/6 are poorly described. The aim of this study was to characterize the neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative responses of at-EAE in C57BL/6 mice by histological techniques and compare them with that observed in the active EAE model. To develop the at-EAE, splenocytes from active EAE female mice were harvested and cultured in presence of MOG35–55 and IL-12, and then injected intraperitoneally in recipient female C57BL6/J mice. In both models, the development of EAE was similar except for starting before the onset of symptoms and presenting a higher EAE cumulative score in the at-EAE model. Spinal cord histological examination revealed an increased glial activation as well as more extensive demyelinating areas in the at-EAE than in the active EAE model. Although inflammatory infiltrates composed by macrophages and T lymphocytes were found in the spinal cord and brain of both models, B lymphocytes were significantly increased in the at-EAE model. The co-localization of these B cells with IgG and their predominant distribution in areas of demyelination would suggest that IgG-secreting B cells are involved in the neurodegenerative processes associated with at-EAE.