GM-CSF-induced regulatory T cells selectively inhibit anti-acetylcholine receptor-specific immune responses in experimental myasthenia gravis.

Department of Neurology and Rehabilitation, College of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL-60612, United States.
Journal of neuroimmunology (Impact Factor: 2.84). 11/2011; 240-241:65-73. DOI: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2011.10.010
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We and others have demonstrated the ability of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) to suppress autoimmunity by increasing the number of CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells (Tregs). In the current study, we have explored the critical role of induced antigen specific Tregs in the therapeutic effects of GM-CSF in murine experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG). Specifically, we show that Tregs from GM-CSF treated EAMG mice (GM-CSF/AChR-induced-Tregs) adoptively transferred into animals with EAMG suppressed clinical disease more potently than equal numbers of Tregs from either GM-CSF untreated EAMG mice or healthy mice treated with GM-CSF. In addition, GM-CSF/AChR-induced-Tregs selectively suppressed antigen specific T cell proliferation induced by AChR relative to that induced by an irrelevant self antigen, (thyroglobulin) and failed to significantly alter T cell proliferation in response to an exogenous antigen (ovalbumin). These results are consistent with the hypothesized mechanism of action of GM-CSF involving the mobilization of tolerogenic dendritic cell precursors which, upon antigen (AChR) capture, suppress the anti-AChR immune response through the induction/expansion of AChR-specific Tregs.

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