Initiation and regulation of CNS autoimmunity.
ABSTRACT Our studies addressed the questions of how self-reactive T cells escape tolerance and what stimuli cause these T cells to initiate autoimmune responses. We employed experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) as an animal model of multiple sclerosis (MS). Endogenous expression of myelin basic protein (MBP) induces tolerance in T cells that recognize one region of MBP, whereas T cells specific for a different region escape tolerance. Triggers of disease induction were investigated in a T-cell receptor (TCR) transgenic model in which the majority of T cells recognize the MBP epitope that does not induce tolerance. EAE occurs spontaneously in this model and the incidence of disease depends on microbial exposure. EAE can also be actively induced by immunization with MBP peptide accompanied by injection of pertussis toxin as well as by administration of pertussis toxin alone. Immunization with MBP peptide without pertussis toxin, however, stimulates the transgenic T cells, but the activated T cells do not accumulate in the central nervous system (CNS) or induce EAE. Our studies suggest that initiation of autoimmune disease involves complex interactions between the neuroendocrine system as well as the innate and specific immune systems.
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ABSTRACT: Background We previously reported that the peripheral regulatory T cells (pTregs) generated ‘on-demand’ in the retina were crucial to retinal immune privilege, and in vitro analysis of retinal dendritic cells (DC) showed they possessed antigen presenting cell (APC) activity that promoted development of the Tregs and effector T cells (Teffs). Here, we expanded these findings by examining whether locally generated, locally acting pTregs were protective against spontaneous autoimmunity and autoimmunity mediated by interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein (IRBP). We also examined the APC capacity of retinal DC in vivo. Methods Transgenic (Tg) mice expressing diphtheria toxin receptor (DTR) and/or green fluorescent protein (GFP) under control of the endogenous FoxP3 promoter (GFP only in FG mice, GFP and DTR in FDG mice) or the CD11c promoter (GFP and DTR in CDG mice) were used in conjunction with Tg mice expressing beta-galactosidase (βgal) as retinal neo-self antigen and βgal-specific TCR Tg mice (BG2). Retinal T cell responses were assayed by flow cytometry and retinal autoimmune disease assessed by histological examination. Results Local depletion of the Tregs enhanced actively induced experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis to the highly expressed retinal self-antigen IRBP in FDG mice and spontaneous autoimmunity in βgal-FDG-BG2 mice, but not in mice lacking autoreactive T cells or their target antigen in the retina. The presence of retinal βgal downregulated the generation of antigen-specific Teffs and pTregs within the retina in response to local βgal challenge. Retinal DC depletion prevented generation of Tregs and Teffs within retina after βgal injection. Microglia remaining after DC depletion did not make up for loss of DC-dependent antigen presentation. Conclusions Our results suggest that local retinal Tregs protect against spontaneous organ-specific autoimmunity and that T cell responses within the retina require the presence of local DC.Journal of Neuroinflammation 12/2014; 11(1-1):205. DOI:10.1186/s12974-014-0205-4 · 4.90 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The choroid plexus (CP) is considered to be a point of leukocyte entry into the CNS during normal immune surveillance and in neuroinflammatory diseases. The structural and functional alterations within the CP that support this migration are not understood. We used quantitative, high-resolution, 3-dimensional (3-D) fluorescence imaging to analyze CP alterations associated with inflammatory responses in C57/Bl6 mice after the induction of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis by immunization with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) and complete Freund adjuvant/pertussis toxin (MOG-CFA/PTX) or adjuvants alone (CFA-PTX). The MOG-CFA/PTX and CFA/PTX produced similar effects, although those caused by the former were consistently more marked. Both treatments resulted in the accumulation of serum immunoglobulin G and leukocytes in the CP stroma, consistent with elevated stromal capillary permeability. They also provoked distortions and diminished immunostaining patterns of the tight junction adaptor protein ZO-1 in the choroidal epithelium but no obvious change in the patterns of the tight junction associated protein claudin-2. Only MOG-CFA/PTX triggered visible extravasation of immunoglobulin G and leukocytes across the choroidal epithelium. Our results suggest that CFA/PTX primes the CP for neuroinflammation by inducing structural changes that are exacerbated when there is an immune response to MOG and reinforce the CP as a gateway for leukocytes to enter the CNS by accessing the CSF and leptomeninges.Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology 10/2014; 73(11). DOI:10.1097/NEN.0000000000000127 · 4.37 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Expression of chemokine CCL2 in the normal central nervous system (CNS) is nearly undetectable, but is significantly upregulated and drives neuroinflammation during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model of multiple sclerosis which is considered a contributing factor in the human disease. As astrocytes and brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMEC) forming the blood-brain barrier (BBB) are sources of CCL2 in EAE and other neuroinflammatory conditions, it is unclear if one or both CCL2 pools are critical to disease and by what mechanism(s). Mice with selective CCL2 gene knockout (KO) in astrocytes (Astro KO) or endothelial cells (Endo KO) were used to evaluate the respective contributions of these sources to neuroinflammation, i.e., clinical disease progression, BBB damage, and parenchymal leukocyte invasion in a myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein peptide (MOG35-55)-induced EAE model. High-resolution 3-dimensional (3D) immunofluorescence confocal microscopy and colloidal gold immuno-electron microscopy were employed to confirm sites of CCL2 expression, and 3D immunofluorescence confocal microscopy utilized to assess inflammatory responses along the CNS microvasculature. Cell-selective loss of CCL2 immunoreactivity was demonstrated in the respective KO mice. Compared to wild-type (WT) mice, Astro KO mice showed reduced EAE severity but similar onset, while Endo KO mice displayed near normal severity but significantly delayed onset. Neither of the KO mice showed deficits in T cell proliferation, or IL-17 and IFN-gamma production, following MOG35-55 exposure in vitro, or altered MOG-major histocompatibility complexclass II tetramer binding. 3D confocal imaging further revealed distinct actions of the two CCL2 pools in the CNS. Astro KOs lacked the CNS leukocyte penetration and disrupted immunostaining of CLN-5 at the BBB seen during early EAE in WT mice, while Endo KOs uniquely displayed leukocytes stalled in the microvascular lumen. These results point to astrocyte and endothelial pools of CCL2 each regulating different stages of neuroinflammation in EAE, and carry implications for drug delivery in neuroinflammatory disease.Journal of Neuroinflammation 01/2014; 11(1):10. DOI:10.1186/1742-2094-11-10 · 4.90 Impact Factor