Raymond A Sobel

University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States

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Publications (277)1924.88 Total impact

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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dimethyl fumarate (DMF) (BG-12, Tecfidera) is a fumaric acid ester (FAE) that was advanced as a multiple sclerosis (MS) therapy largely for potential neuroprotection as it was recognized that FAEs are capable of activating the antioxidative transcription factor nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (Nrf2) pathway. However, DMF treatment in randomized controlled MS trials was associated with marked reductions in relapse rate and development of active brain MRI lesions, measures considered to reflect CNS inflammation. Here, we investigated the antiinflammatory contribution of Nrf2 in DMF treatment of the MS model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). C57BL/6 wild-type (WT) and Nrf2-deficient (Nrf2(-/-)) mice were immunized with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) peptide 35-55 (p35-55) for EAE induction and treated with oral DMF or vehicle daily. DMF protected WT and Nrf2(-/-)mice equally well from development of clinical and histologic EAE. The beneficial effect of DMF treatment in Nrf2(-/-)and WT mice was accompanied by reduced frequencies of IFN-γ and IL-17-producing CD4(+)cells and induction of antiinflammatory M2 (type II) monocytes. DMF also modulated B-cell MHC II expression and reduced the incidence of clinical disease in a B-cell-dependent model of spontaneous CNS autoimmunity. Our observations that oral DMF treatment promoted immune modulation and provided equal clinical benefit in acute EAE in Nrf2(-/-)and WT mice, suggest that the antiinflammatory activity of DMF in treatment of MS patients may occur through alternative pathways, independent of Nrf2.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2016 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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    Full-text · Dataset · Apr 2016
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: To investigate the role of very late antigen-4 (VLA-4) on regulatory B cells (Breg) in CNS autoimmune disease. Methods: Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) was induced in mice selectively deficient for VLA-4 on B cells (CD19cre/α4(f/f)) by immunization with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) peptide (p)35-55 or recombinant human (rh) MOG protein. B-cell and T-cell populations were examined by flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry. Breg were evaluated by intracellular IL-10 staining of B cells and, secondly, by coexpression of CD1d and CD5. Results: As previously reported, EAE was less severe in B-cell VLA-4-deficient vs control CD19cre mice when induced by rhMOG, a model that is B-cell-dependent and leads to efficient B-cell activation and antibody production. Paradoxically, B-cell VLA-4-deficient mice developed more severe clinical disease than control mice when EAE was induced with MOG p35-55, a B-cell-independent encephalitogen that does not efficiently activate B cells. Peripheral T-cell and humoral immune responses were not altered in B-cell VLA-4-deficient mice. In MOG p35-55-induced EAE, B-cell VLA-4 deficiency reduced CNS accumulation of B but not T cells. Breg were detected in the CNS of control mice with MOG p35-55-induced EAE. However, more severe EAE in B-cell VLA-4-deficient mice was associated with virtual absence of CNS Breg. Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that CNS accumulation of Breg is VLA-4-dependent and suggest that Breg may contribute to regulation of CNS autoimmunity in situ. These observations underscore the need to choose the appropriate encephalitogen when studying how B cells contribute to pathogenesis or regulation of CNS autoimmunity.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2016
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Th17 cells play a critical role in host defense against extracellular pathogens and tissue homeostasis but can induce autoimmunity. The mechanisms implicated in balancing "pathogenic" and "non-pathogenic" Th17 cell states remain largely unknown. We used single-cell RNA-seq to identify CD5L/AIM as a regulator expressed in non-pathogenic, but not in pathogenic Th17 cells. Although CD5L does not affect Th17 differentiation, it is a functional switch that regulates the pathogenicity of Th17 cells. Loss of CD5L converts non-pathogenic Th17 cells into pathogenic cells that induce autoimmunity. CD5L mediates this effect by modulating the intracellular lipidome, altering fatty acid composition and restricting cholesterol biosynthesis and, thus, ligand availability for Rorγt, the master transcription factor of Th17 cells. Our study identifies CD5L as a critical regulator of the Th17 cell functional state and highlights the importance of lipid metabolism in balancing immune protection and disease induced by T cells.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Cell
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: IL-17-producing CD4+ T cells (Th17 cells) have well-described pathogenic roles in tissue inflammation and autoimmune diseases, such as experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE); however, the involvement of IL-21 in these processes has remained controversial. While IL-21 is an essential autocrine amplification factor for differentiation of Th17 cells, the loss of IL-21 or IL-21 receptor (IL-21R) does not protect mice from actively induced EAE. Here, we utilized a transgenic EAE mouse model, in which T and B cells overexpress receptors for myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) (referred to as 2D2xTH mice), and demonstrated that IL-21 is critical for the development of a variant form of spontaneous EAE in these animals. Il21r deletion in 2D2xTH mice reduced the incidence and severity of spontaneous EAE, which was associated with a defect in Th17 cell generation. Moreover, IL-21R deficiency limited IL-23R expression on Th17 cells and inhibited expression of key molecules involved in the generation of pathogenic Th17 cells. Conversely, loss of IL-23R in 2D2xTH mice resulted in complete resistance to the development of spontaneous EAE. Our data identify a previously unappreciated role for IL-21 in EAE and reveal that IL-21-mediated signaling supports generation and stabilization of pathogenic Th17 cells and development of spontaneous autoimmunity.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2015 · The Journal of clinical investigation
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4) is an essential negative regulator of T cell responses. Germline Ctla4 deficiency is lethal, making investigation of the function of CTLA-4 on mature T cells challenging. To elucidate the function of CTLA-4 on mature T cells, we have conditionally ablated Ctla4 in adult mice. We show that, in contrast to germline knockout mice, deletion of Ctla4 during adulthood does not precipitate systemic autoimmunity, but surprisingly confers protection from experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) and does not lead to increased resistance to MC38 tumors. Deletion of Ctla4 during adulthood was accompanied by activation and expansion of both conventional CD4(+)Foxp3(-) (T conv) and regulatory Foxp3(+) (T reg cells) T cell subsets; however, deletion of CTLA-4 on T reg cells was necessary and sufficient for protection from EAE. CTLA-4 deleted T reg cells remained functionally suppressive. Deletion of Ctla4 on T reg cells alone or on all adult T cells led to major changes in the Ctla4 sufficient T conv cell compartment, including up-regulation of immunoinhibitory molecules IL-10, LAG-3 and PD-1, thereby providing a compensatory immunosuppressive mechanism. Collectively, our findings point to a profound role for CTLA-4 on T reg cells in limiting their peripheral expansion and activation, thereby regulating the phenotype and function of T conv cells.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Journal of Experimental Medicine
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Natalizumab, which binds very late antigen-4 (VLA-4), is a potent therapy for multiple sclerosis (MS). Studies have focused primarily upon its capacity to interfere with T cell-migration into the central nervous system (CNS). B cells are important in MS pathogenesis and express high levels of VLA-4. Here, we report that the selective inhibition of VLA-4-expression on B cells impedes CNS accumulation of B cells, recruitment of Th17 cells and macrophages, and reduces susceptibility to experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). These results underscore the importance of B cell VLA-4-expression in pathogenesis of CNS autoimmunity and provide insight regarding mechanisms that may contribute to the benefit of natalizumab in MS, as well as candidate therapeutics that selectively target B cells. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. Copyright © 2015 American Neurological Association.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · Annals of Neurology
  • Sheng Xiao · Craig R Brooks · Raymond A Sobel · Vijay K Kuchroo
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: T cell Ig and mucin domain (Tim)-1 identifies IL-10-producing regulatory B cells (Bregs). Mice on the C57BL/6 background harboring a loss-of-function Tim-1 mutant showed progressive loss of IL-10 production in B cells and with age developed severe multiorgan tissue inflammation. We demonstrate that Tim-1 expression and signaling in Bregs are required for optimal production of IL-10. B cells with Tim-1 defects have impaired IL-10 production but increased proinflammatory cytokine production, including IL-1 and IL-6. Tim-1-deficient B cells promote Th1 and Th17 responses but inhibit the generation of regulatory T cells (Foxp3(+) and IL-10-producing type 1 regulatory T cells) and enhance the severity of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Mechanistically, Tim-1 on Bregs is required for apoptotic cell (AC) binding to Bregs and for AC-induced IL-10 production in Bregs. Treatment with ACs reduces the severity of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in hosts with wild-type but not Tim-1-deficient Bregs. Collectively, these findings suggest that in addition to serving as a marker for identifying IL-10-producing Bregs, Tim-1 is also critical for maintaining self-tolerance by regulating IL-10 production in Bregs. Copyright © 2015 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · The Journal of Immunology
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Therapies that target leukocyte trafficking pathways can reduce disease activity and improve clinical outcomes in multiple sclerosis (MS). Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is a widely studied animal model that shares many clinical and histological features with MS. Chemokine-like receptor-1 (CMKLR1) is a chemoattractant receptor that is expressed by key effector cells in EAE and MS, including macrophages, subsets of dendritic cells, natural killer cells and microglia. We previously showed that CMKLR1-deficient (CMKLR1 KO) mice develop less severe clinical and histological EAE than wild-type mice. In this study, we sought to identify CMKLR1 inhibitors that would pharmaceutically recapitulate the CMKLR1 KO phenotype in EAE. We identified 2-(α-naphthoyl) ethyltrimethylammonium iodide (α-NETA) as a CMKLR1 small molecule antagonist that inhibits chemerin-stimulated β-arrestin2 association with CMKLR1, as well as chemerin-triggered CMKLR1+ cell migration. α-NETA significantly delayed the onset of EAE induced in C57BL/6 mice by both active immunization with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein peptide 35-55 and by adoptive transfer of encephalitogenic T cells. In addition, α-NETA treatment significantly reduced mononuclear cell infiltrates within the CNS. This study provides additional proof-of-concept data that targeting CMKLR1:chemerin interactions may be beneficial in preventing or treating MS.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · PLoS ONE
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Podoplanin (PDPN, also known as Gp38) is highly expressed on the surface of lymphatic endothelial cells, where it regulates development of lymphatic vessels. We have recently observed that PDPN is also expressed on effector T cells that infiltrate target tissues during autoimmune inflammation; however, the function of PDPN in T cells is largely unclear. Here, we demonstrated that global deletion of Pdpn results in exaggerated T cell responses and spontaneous experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in mice with a susceptible genetic background. In contrast, T cell-specific overexpression of PDPN resulted in profound defects in IL-7-mediated T cell expansion and survival. Consequently, these animals exhibited a more rapid resolution of CNS inflammation, characterized by a reduced effector CD4+ T cell population in the CNS. Mice harboring a T cell-specific deletion of Pdpn developed exacerbated EAE, with increased accumulation of effector CD4+ T cells in the CNS. Transcriptional profiling of naturally occurring PDPN+ effector T cells in the CNS revealed increased expression of other inhibitory receptors, such as Pd1 and Tim3, and decreased expression of prosurvival factors, including Il7ra. Together, our data suggest that PDPN functions as an inhibitory molecule on T cells, thereby promoting tissue tolerance by limiting long-term survival and maintenance of CD4+ effector T cells in target organs.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Journal of Clinical Investigation
  • No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Journal of Neuroimmunology
  • No preview · Article · Oct 2014
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: Studies evaluating T-cell recognition of myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) in multiple sclerosis (MS) and its model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), have focused mostly on its 117 amino acid (aa) extracellular domain, especially peptide (p) 35-55. We characterized T-cell responses to the entire 218 aa MOG sequence, including its transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains. Methods: T-cell recognition in mice was examined using overlapping peptides and intact full-length mouse MOG. EAE was evaluated by peptide immunization and by adoptive transfer of MOG epitope-specific T cells. Frequency of epitope-specific T cells was examined by ELISPOT. Results: Three T-cell determinants of MOG were discovered in its transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains, p119-132, p181-195, and p186-200. Transmembrane MOG p119-132 induced clinical EAE, CNS inflammation, and demyelination as potently as p35-55 in C57BL/6 mice and other H-2(b) strains. p119-128 contained its minimal encephalitogenic epitope. p119-132 did not cause disease in EAE-susceptible non-H-2(b) strains, including Biozzi, NOD, and PL/J. MOG p119-132-specific T cells produced Th1 and Th17 cytokines and transferred EAE to wild-type recipient mice. After immunization with full-length MOG, a significantly higher frequency of MOG-reactive T cells responded to p119-132 than to p35-55, demonstrating that p119-132 is an immunodominant encephalitogenic epitope. MOG p181-195 did not cause EAE, and MOG p181-195-specific T cells could not transfer EAE into wild-type or highly susceptible T- and B-cell-deficient mice. Conclusions: Transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains of MOG contain immunodominant T-cell epitopes in EAE. A CNS autoantigen can also contain nonpathogenic stimulatory T-cell epitopes. Recognition that a myelin antigen contains multiple encephalitogenic and nonencephalitogenic determinants may have implications for therapeutic development in MS.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014
  • No preview · Conference Paper · Jun 2014
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    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We recently reported that Acanthamoeba castellanii (ACA), an opportunistic pathogen of the central nervous system (CNS) possesses mimicry epitopes for proteolipid protein (PLP) 139-151 and myelin basic protein 89-101, and that the epitopes induce experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in SJL mice reminiscent of the diseases induced with their corresponding cognate peptides. We now demonstrate that mice infected with ACA also show the generation of cross-reactive T cells, predominantly for PLP 139-151, as evaluated by T cell proliferation and IAs/dextramer staining. We verified that PLP 139-151-sensitized lymphocytes generated in infected mice contained a high proportion of T helper 1 cytokine-producing cells, and they can transfer disease to naïve animals. Likewise, the animals first primed with suboptimal dose of PLP 139-151 and later infected with ACA, developed EAE, suggesting that ACA infection can trigger CNS autoimmunity in the presence of preexisting repertoire of autoreactive T cells. Taken together, the data provide novel insights into the pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba infections, and the potential role of infectious agents with mimicry epitopes to self-antigens in the pathogenesis of CNS diseases such as multiple sclerosis.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using an integrated antigen microarray approach, we observed epitope-spreading of autoantibody responses to a variety of antigenic structures in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and in the serum of mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). These included previously described protein- and lipid-based antigenic targets and newly discovered autoimmunogenic sugar moieties, notably, autoantibodies specific for the oligomannoses in both MS patient CSF and the sera of mice with EAE. These glycans are often masked by other sugar moieties and belong to a class of cryptic autoantigens. We further determined that these targets are highly expressed on multiple cell types in MS and EAE lesions. Co-immunization of SJL/J mice with a Man9-KLH conjugate at the time of EAE induction elicited highly significant levels of anti-Man9-cluster autoantibodies. Nevertheless, this anti-glycan autoantibody response was associated with a significantly reduced clinical severity of EAE. The potential of these cryptic glycan markers and targeting antibodies for diagnostic and therapeutic interventions of neurological disorders has yet to be explored.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · Drug Development Research
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Interleukin 17 (IL-17)-producing helper T cells (T[subscript H]17 cells) are often present at the sites of tissue inflammation in autoimmune diseases, which has led to the conclusion that T[subscript H]17 cells are main drivers of autoimmune tissue injury. However, not all T[subscript H]17 cells are pathogenic; in fact, T[subscript H]17 cells generated with transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) and IL-6 produce IL-17 but do not readily induce autoimmune disease without further exposure to IL-23. Here we found that the production of TGF-β3 by developing T[subscript H]17 cells was dependent on IL-23, which together with IL-6 induced very pathogenic T[subscript H]17 cells. Moreover, TGF-β3-induced T[subscript H]17 cells were functionally and molecularly distinct from TGF-β1-induced T[subscript H]17 cells and had a molecular signature that defined pathogenic effector T[subscript H]17 cells in autoimmune disease.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite the prevalence of Aspergillus-related disease, little is known of the host–pathogen interaction. We used a novel orthotopic tracheal transplant model of Aspergillus infection to assess the effects of tissue ischemia and hypoxia on airway infectivity. We hypothesized that Aspergillus invasion would increase with the progressive ischemia of the graft because of the mold’s angiotropic nature and its capacity to thrive in hypoxic conditions. Methods: Fungal burden and depth of invasion were graded histopathologically. We used laser Doppler flowmetry and FITC-lectin to determine blood perfusion and a fiberoptic microsensor to measure airway tissue oxygen tension. We evaluated differences between syngeneic and allogeneic animals. To evaluate the role of hypoxiainduciblefactor (HIF) onAspergillusinvasion,we compared transplants in mice with Von Hippel-Lindau haplodeficiency in Tie2 lineage cells (Tie21 cell VHL) to wild-type (WT) control mice. Measurements and Main Results: We demonstrated a high efficacy (80%) for producing a localized tracheal infection at the donor–recipient anastomosis; Aspergillus was more invasive in allogeneic compared with syngeneic groups. The overall kinetics of both noninfected and infected allografts were similar, demonstrating a progressive loss of perfusion and oxygenation, which reached a nadir by transplant day 10 to 12. The extent of Aspergillus invasion directly correlated with the degree of graft hypoxia and ischemia. Tie21 cell VHL haplodeficient mice had improved perfusion compared with WT control mice through stabilization of the HIF-1aprotein. In Tie21 cell VHL haplodeficient mice, Aspergillus fumigatus displayed a minimally invasive phenotype, whereas in control mice Aspergillus was highly invasive. Conclusions: For the first time, we identify ischemia as a putative risk factor for Aspergillus invasion. Therapeutic approaches focused on preserving vascular health, including up-regulating HIF expression,may play animportant roleinlimitingAspergillusinfections. Author disclosures are available with the text of this abstract at www.atsjournals.org. (Received in original form July 24, 2012; accepted in final form July 26, 2013) Correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to Joe L. Hsu, M.D., Stanford University School of Medicine, 300 Pasteur Drive, Stanford, California 94305. Email: joehsu@stanford.edu Ann Am Thorac Soc Vol 11, Supplement 1, p S79, Jan 2014 Published 2014 by the American Thoracic Society Internet address: www.atsjournals.org
    No preview · Article · Jan 2014 · Annals of the American Thoracic Society
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Whether B cells serve as antigen-presenting cells (APCs) for activation of pathogenic T cells in the multiple sclerosis model experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is unclear. To evaluate their role as APCs, we engineered mice selectively deficient in MHC II on B cells (B-MHC II(-/-)), and to distinguish this function from antibody production, we created transgenic (Tg) mice that express the myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG)-specific B cell receptor (BCR; IgH(MOG-mem)) but cannot secrete antibodies. B-MHC II(-/-) mice were resistant to EAE induced by recombinant human MOG (rhMOG), a T cell- and B cell-dependent autoantigen, and exhibited diminished Th1 and Th17 responses, suggesting a role for B cell APC function. In comparison, selective B cell IL-6 deficiency reduced EAE susceptibility and Th17 responses alone. Administration of MOG-specific antibodies only partially restored EAE susceptibility in B-MHC II(-/-) mice. In the absence of antibodies, IgH(MOG-mem) mice, but not mice expressing a BCR of irrelevant specificity, were fully susceptible to acute rhMOG-induced EAE, also demonstrating the importance of BCR specificity. Spontaneous opticospinal EAE and meningeal follicle-like structures were observed in IgH(MOG-mem) mice crossed with MOG-specific TCR Tg mice. Thus, B cells provide a critical cellular function in pathogenesis of central nervous system autoimmunity independent of their humoral involvement, findings which may be relevant to B cell-targeted therapies.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · Journal of Experimental Medicine

Publication Stats

18k Citations
1,924.88 Total Impact Points


  • 2012
    • University of California, San Francisco
      San Francisco, California, United States
  • 2006
    • University of Tuebingen
      • Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research
      Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
    • National Eye Institute
      베서스다, Maryland, United States
  • 1996-2005
    • Harvard University
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
    • Hebrew University of Jerusalem
      Yerushalayim, Jerusalem, Israel
  • 2003
    • Stanford Medicine
      Stanford, California, United States
  • 1993-1998
    • Stanford University
      • • Department of Medicine
      • • Department of Neurobiology
      Palo Alto, California, United States
  • 1987-1995
    • Harvard Medical School
      • Department of Neurology
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States