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ABSTRACT: The TNF-related weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK) is a TNF family member mediating proinflammatory effects by its receptor fibroblast growth factor-inducible-14 (Fn14). We studied the role of TWEAK/Fn14 in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) by protein vaccination with TWEAK and Fn14 and recombinant TWEAK-DNA, respectively. TWEAK-DNA vaccination worsened the clinical course of EAE and increased central nervous system (CNS) inflammation. TWEAK increased the secretion of CCL2 [monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1)] by CNS endothelial cells and astrocytes in vitro, suggesting CCL2 as a critical mediator of TWEAKs proinflammatory effects. Vaccination with the extracellular domain of TWEAK or with Fn14 resulted in the induction of specific inhibitory antibodies and an amelioration of EAE signs in two different models in rats and mice. Spinal cord inflammatory infiltrates were significantly diminished. Purified IgG from TWEAK- or Fn14-vaccinated rats prevented TWEAK-induced production of CCL2 by endothelial cells. Blocking Fn14 signaling represents a novel approach with potential for the treatment of CNS autoimmunity.
Journal of Neuroimmunology 03/2005; 159(1-2):55-65. · 3.03 Impact Factor