Article

Opioid growth factor suppresses expression of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis

Department of Neural and Behavioral Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, USA.
Brain research (Impact Factor: 2.84). 11/2009; 1310:154-61. DOI: 10.1016/j.brainres.2009.11.026
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

Naltrexone, an opioid antagonist, has been shown to modulate expression of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model of MS, suggesting that endogenous opioids are inhibitory trophic factors in EAE. In the present study, we investigated the effects of one native opioid peptide, opioid growth factor ([Met(5)]-enkephalin), on the onset and progression of EAE. C57Bl/6 mice injected with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) received daily injections of 10 mg/kg OGF (MOG+OGF) or saline (MOG+Vehicle). Over 60% of the MOG+OGF animals did not exhibit behavioral signs of disease (EAE) in contrast to 100% of the mice in the MOG+Vehicle group. The severity and disease indices of EAE in the OGF-treated mice were markedly reduced from MOG+Vehicle cohorts. By day 30, 60% of MOG+OGF mice had a remission, relative to 4% in the MOG+Vehicle group. MOG-injected mice receiving OGF had significant reductions in activated astrocytes and damaged neurons compared to MOG+Vehicle animals. Unlike MOG+Vehicle and MOG+OGF mice with behavioral signs of disease, MOG+OGF animals without manifestation of disease had no lumbar spinal cord demyelination. Both OGF and OGF receptor were detected in splenic-derived T lymphocytes by immunohistochemistry. OGF treatment decreased both DNA synthesis and cell proliferation in comparison to vehicle-treated T cell lymphocyte cultures. These results indicate that an endogenous opioid, OGF, inhibits the onset and progression of EAE, and suggest that clinical studies on the use of OGF treatment for MS are merited.

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Available from: Ian S Zagon, Mar 17, 2014
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    • "The clinical implications of these findings are profound. OGF has been shown to depress the expression of EAE (Zagon et al. 2010), as well as the progression of human neoplasias (Zagon et al. 2008b, 2009a; McLaughlin et al., 2005). OGF has been successful in both Phase I and Phase II clinical trials for extending survival and improving the quality of life of patients with advanced pancreatic cancer (Smith et al. 2004, 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: Opioid peptides function as immunomodulatory molecules. Reports have linked the opioid growth factor (OGF), [Met(5)]-enkephalin, and its receptor OGFr to autoimmune diseases. OGF repressed the incidence and magnitude of myelin oligodendrocyte-induced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in mice. Given the extensive connection between the immune system and autoimmune diseases, the present study was conducted to examine the relationship of the OGF-OGFr axis and T lymphocyte proliferation. Splenic-derived mouse lymphocytes were stimulated with phytohemagglutin (PHA). All non-stimulated and PHA-stimulated T lymphocytes had immunoreactivity for OGF-like enkephalin and OGFr. OGF markedly suppressed T lymphocyte number in a dose-dependent manner. However, PHA-stimulated T lymphocytes were not altered in cell number by a variety of natural and synthetic opioid-related compounds, some specific for μ, δ, and κ opioid receptors. Persistent blockade of opioid receptors with the general opioid antagonist naltrexone (NTX), as well as antibody neutralization of OGF-like peptides, had no effect on cell number. Non-stimulated T lymphocytes exhibited no change in cell number when subjected to OGF or NTX. Treatment of T lymphocytes with siRNAs for μ, δ, or κ opioid receptors did not affect cell number, and the addition of OGF to these siRNA-exposed cultures depressed the population of cells. T lymphocytes treated with OGFr siRNA also had a comparable number of cells to control cultures, but the addition of OGF did not alter cell number. DNA synthesis in PHA-stimulated T lymphocytes exposed to OGF was markedly decreased from PHA-stimulated cultures receiving vehicle, but the number of cells undergoing apoptosis or necrosis in these cultures was similar to control levels. T lymphocytes subjected to siRNA for p16 and/or p21 had a comparable number of cells compared to controls, and treatment with OGF did not depress cell number in preparations transfected with both p16 and p21 siRNA. These data reveal that the OGF-OGFr axis is present in T lymphocytes and is capable of suppressing cell proliferation. However, T lymphocytes are not dependent on the regulation of cell proliferation by this system. The results showing that the OGF-OGFr axis is an immunosuppressant, offers explanation for reports that autoimmune diseases can be modulated by this system.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2010 · Immunobiology
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    • "The clinical implications of these findings are profound. OGF has been shown to depress the expression of EAE (Zagon et al. 2010), as well as the progression of human neoplasias (Zagon et al. 2008b, 2009a; McLaughlin et al., 2005). OGF has been successful in both Phase I and Phase II clinical trials for extending survival and improving the quality of life of patients with advanced pancreatic cancer (Smith et al. 2004, 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: Endogenous opioids are known to repress the incidence and progression of autoimmune diseases. One native opioid peptide, [Met⁵]-enkephalin, termed the opioid gowth factor (OGF), interacts with the OGF receptor (OGFr) to suppress the expression of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. The present study examined the role of the OGF-OGFr axis in the regulation of B lymphocyte proliferation. Murine B lymphocytes were stimulated with lipopolysaccharide. Both OGF and OGFr were present in all B lymphocytes. OGF had a dose-dependent effect on growth, with cell number inhibited by up to 43% at 72 h; no other synthetic or native opioid altered cell proliferation. Exogenous OGF depressed cell number in cultures treated with siRNAs for the classical opioid receptors, MOR (μ), DOR (δ), and KOR (κ), however this peptide had no effect in preparations exposed to siRNA for OGFr. The decrease in cell number by exogenous OGF was dependent on p16 or p21 cyclin-dependent inhibitory kinase pathways. Exposure to the opioid antagonist, naltrexone, did not change cell number from control levels. These results suggest that the OGF-OGFr axis is present and functional in B lymphocytes, but this system is not an autocrine regulator of cell proliferation. Thus, at least exogenous OGF and perhaps endogenous OGF by paracrine/endocrine sources, can be an immunosuppressant. Modulation of the OGF-OGFr axis may be a novel paradigm for the treatment of autoimmune diseases.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2010 · Immunobiology
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