Genome-wide linkage analysis of chronic relapsing experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in the rat identifies a major susceptibility locus on chromosome 9.
The immunization of inbred Dark Agouti (DA) rats with an emulsion containing homogenized spinal cord and CFA induces chronic relapsing experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a disease with many similarities to multiple sclerosis. We report here the first genome-wide search for quantitative trait loci regulating EAE in the rat using this model. We identified one quantitative trait locus on chromosome 9, Eae4, in a [DA(RT1av1) x BN(RT1n)]F2 intercross showing linkage to disease susceptibility and expression of mRNA for the proinflammatory cytokine IFN-gamma in the spinal cord. Eae4 had a larger influence on disease incidence among rats that were homozygous for the RT1av1 MHC haplotype (RT1av1 rats) compared with RT1n/av1 rats, suggesting an interaction between Eae4 and the MHC. Homozygosity for the DA allele at markers in Eae4 and in the MHC was sufficient for EAE. Thus, Eae4 is a major genetic factor determining susceptibility to EAE in this cross of DA rats. In addition, there was support for linkage to phenotypes of EAE on chromosomes 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, 12, and 15. The chromosome 12 region has been shown previously to predispose DA rats to arthritis, and the chromosome 2 region is syntenic to Eae3 in mice. We conclude that Eae4 and probably the other identified genome regions harbor genes regulating susceptibility to neuroinflammatory disease. The identification and functional characterization of these genes may disclose critical events in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis; understanding these events could be essential for the development of new therapies against the disease. (+info
Genetic analysis of disease subtypes and sexual dimorphisms in mouse experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE): relapsing/remitting and monophasic remitting/nonrelapsing EAE are immunogenetically distinct.
Experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) is the principal animal model of multiple sclerosis (MS), the major inflammatory disease of the central nervous system. Murine EAE is generally either an acute monophasic or relapsing disease. Because the clinical spectrum of MS is more diverse, the limited range of disease subtypes observed in EAE has raised concern regarding its relevance as a model for MS. During the generation of a large F2 mapping population between the EAE-susceptible SJL/J and EAE-resistant B10.S/DvTe inbred lines, we identified four distinct subtypes of murine EAE resembling clinical subtypes seen in MS. We observed acute progressive, chronic/nonremitting, remitting/relapsing, and monophasic remitting/nonrelapsing EAE. An additional subtype, benign EAE, was identified after histologic examination revealed that some mice had inflammatory infiltrates of the central nervous system, but did not show clinical signs of EAE. Genome exclusion mapping was performed to identify the loci controlling susceptibility to each disease subtype. We report three novel EAE-modifying loci on chromosomes 16, 7, and 13 (eae11-13, respectively). Additionally, unique loci with gender-specific effects govern susceptibility to remitting/relapsing (eae12) and monophasic remitting/nonrelapsing (eae7 and 13) EAE. (+info
Regulation of interleukin (IL)-12 receptor beta2 subunit expression by endogenous IL-12: a critical step in the differentiation of pathogenic autoreactive T cells.
The interleukin (IL)-12 receptor (R)beta2 subunit is the critical molecule involved in maintaining IL-12 responsiveness and controlling T helper cell type 1 lineage commitment. We demonstrate that IL-12 and interferon (IFN)-gamma play separate, but complementary, roles in regulating IL-12Rbeta2 expression on antigen-specific CD4(+) T cells. These results are consistent with our previous observation that IL-12 can promote autoimmune disease through IFN-gamma-independent as well as -dependent pathways. Therefore, we compared the induction of IL-12 by, and the expression of the IL-12Rbeta2 subunit on, myelin basic protein (MBP)-specific T cells from experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE)-susceptible SJL (H-2(s)) mice and from EAE- resistant B10.S mice (H-2(s)). B10.S mice had an antigen-specific defect in their capacity to upregulate the IL-12Rbeta2 subunit. Defective expression was not secondary to the production of suppressive cytokines, but to a failure of B10.S MBP-specific T cells to upregulate CD40 ligand expression and to induce the production of IL-12. IL-12Rbeta2 expression as well as encephalitogenicity of these cells could be restored by the addition of IL-12. These results suggest that the development of immunotherapies that target the IL-12Rbeta2 subunit may be useful for the treatment of autoimmune diseases. (+info
Transgenic interleukin 10 prevents induction of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.
The effectiveness of interleukin 10 (IL-10) in the treatment of autoimmune-mediated central nervous system inflammation is controversial. Studies of the model system, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), using various routes, regimens, and delivery methods of IL-10 suggest that these variables may affect its immunoregulatory function. To study the influence of these factors on IL-10 regulation of EAE pathogenesis, we have analyzed transgenic mice expressing human IL-10 (hIL-10) transgene under the control of a class II major histocompatibility complex (MHC) promoter. The hIL-10 transgenic mice are highly resistant to EAE induced by active immunization, and this resistance appears to be mediated by suppression of autoreactive T cell function. Myelin-reactive T helper 1 cells are induced but nonpathogenic in the IL-10 transgenic mice. Antibody depletion confirmed that EAE resistance is dependent on the presence of the transgenic IL-10. Mice expressing the hIL-10 transgene but not the endogenous murine IL-10 gene demonstrated that transgenic IL-10 from MHC class II-expressing cells is sufficient to block induction of EAE. This study demonstrates that IL-10 can prevent EAE completely if present at appropriate levels and times during disease induction. (+info
Suppressive immunization with DNA encoding a self-peptide prevents autoimmune disease: modulation of T cell costimulation.
Usually we rely on vaccination to promote an immune response to a pathogenic microbe. In this study, we demonstrate a suppressive from of vaccination, with DNA encoding a minigene for residues 139-151 of myelin proteolipid protein (PLP139-151), a pathogenic self-Ag. This suppressive vaccination attenuates a prototypic autoimmune disease, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, which presents clinically with paralysis. Proliferative responses and production of the Th1 cytokines, IL-2 and IFN-gamma, were reduced in T cells responsive to PLP139-151. In the brains of mice that were successfully vaccinated, mRNA for IL-2, IL-15, and IFN-gamma were reduced. A mechanism underlying the reduction in severity and incidence of paralytic autoimmune disease and the reduction in Th1 cytokines involves altered costimulation of T cells; loading of APCs with DNA encoding PLP139-151 reduced the capacity of a T cell line reactive to PLP139-151 to proliferate even in the presence of exogenous CD28 costimulation. DNA immunization with the myelin minigene for PLP-altered expression of B7.1 (CD80), and B7.2 (CD86) on APCs in the spleen. Suppressive immunization against self-Ags encoded by DNA may be exploited to treat autoimmune diseases. (+info
Comparison of ultrasmall particles of iron oxide (USPIO)-enhanced T2-weighted, conventional T2-weighted, and gadolinium-enhanced T1-weighted MR images in rats with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Ultrasmall particles of iron oxide (USPIO) constitute a contrast agent that accumulates in cells from the mononuclear phagocytic system. In the CNS they may accumulate in phagocytic cells such as macrophages. The goal of this study was to compare USPIO-enhanced MR images with conventional T2-weighted images and gadolinium-enhanced T1-weighted images in a model of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). METHODS: Nine rats with EAE and four control rats were imaged at 4.7 T and 1.5 T with conventional T1- and T2-weighted sequences, gadolinium-enhanced T1-weighted sequences, and T2-weighted sequences obtained 24 hours after intravenous injection of a USPIO contrast agent, AMI-227. Histologic examination was performed with hematoxylin-eosin stain, Perls' stain for iron, and ED1 immunohistochemistry for macrophages. RESULTS: USPIO-enhanced images showed a high sensitivity (8/9) for detecting EAE lesions, whereas poor sensitivity was obtained with T2-weighted images (1/9) and gadolinium-enhanced T1-weighted images (0/9). All the MR findings in the control rats were negative. Histologic examination revealed the presence of macrophages at the site where abnormalities were seen on USPIO-enhanced images. CONCLUSION: The high sensitivity of USPIO for macrophage activity relative to other imaging techniques is explained by the histologic findings of numerous perivascular cell infiltrates, including macrophages, in EAE. This work supports the possibility of intracellular USPIO transport to the CNS by monocytes/macrophages, which may have future implications for imaging of human inflammatory diseases. (+info
Immunomodulation of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis by oral administration of copolymer 1.
The activity of copolymer 1 (Cop 1, Copaxone, glatiramer acetate) in suppressing experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) and in the treatment of multiple sclerosis patients when injected parenterally has been extensively demonstrated. In the present study we addressed the question of whether Cop 1 can induce oral tolerance to EAE similar to myelin basic protein (MBP). We now have demonstrated that oral Cop 1 inhibited EAE induction in both rats and mice. Furthermore, oral Cop 1 was more effective than oral MBP in suppressing EAE in rats. The beneficial effect of oral Cop 1 was found to be associated with specific inhibition of the proliferative and Th1 cytokine secretion responses to MBP of spleen cells from Cop 1-fed mice and rats. In all of these assays, oral Cop 1 was more effective than oral MBP. The tolerance induced by Cop 1 could be adoptively transferred with spleen cells from Cop 1-fed animals. Furthermore, Cop 1-specific T cell lines, which inhibit EAE induction in vivo, could be isolated from the above spleen cells. These T cell lines secrete the anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-10 and transforming growth factor type beta, but not IL-4, in response to both Cop 1 and MBP. In conclusion, oral Cop 1 has a beneficial effect on the development of EAE that is associated with down-regulation of T cell immune responses to MBP and is mediated by Th2/3 type regulatory cells. These results suggest that oral administration of Cop 1 may modulate multiple sclerosis as well. (+info
Spontaneous regression of primary autoreactivity during chronic progression of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and multiple sclerosis.
Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is a widely used animal model for multiple sclerosis (MS). EAE is typically initiated by CD4(+) T helper cell type 1 (Th1) autoreactivity directed against a single priming immunodominant myelin peptide determinant. Recent studies have shown that clinical progression of EAE involves the accumulation of neo-autoreactivity, commonly referred to as epitope spreading, directed against peptide determinants not involved in the priming process. This study directly addresses the relative roles of primary autoreactivity and secondary epitope spreading in the progression of both EAE and MS. To this end we serially evaluated the development of several epitope-spreading cascades in SWXJ mice primed with distinctly different encephalitogenic determinants of myelin proteolipid protein. In a series of analogous experiments, we examined the development of epitope spreading in patients with isolated monosymptomatic demyelinating syndrome as their disease progressed to clinically definite MS. Our results indicate that in both EAE and MS, primary proliferative autoreactivity associated with onset of clinical disease invariably regresses with time and is often undetectable during periods of disease progression. In contrast, the emergence of sustained secondary autoreactivity to spreading determinants is consistently associated with disease progression in both EAE and MS. Our results indicate that chronic progression of EAE and MS involves a shifting of autoreactivity from primary initiating self-determinants to defined cascades of secondary determinants that sustain the self-recognition process during disease progression. (+info