- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Myelin proteolipid protein (PLP) 139-151 is an immunodominant peptide that induces experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in H-2(s) SJL/J mice. While PLP 139-151-specific TCR transgenic (tg) 4E3 mice develop fulminant spontaneous disease on the susceptible SJL/J background, spontaneous EAE is dramatically reduced on the H-2(s) congenic B10.S background. On this resistant background, we observed a high frequency of positively selected tg CD4-CD8- (DN) thymocytes and peripheral DN tg T cells. Splenic DN tg T cells responded to anti-CD3 stimulation similarly to CD4+ cells, but proliferative and cytokine responses to PLP 139-151 were blunted, implying that CD4 co-receptor down-regulation modulated T cell responses to the self-antigen in vitro. Adoptive transfer of tg DN CD3hi cells into RAG-deficient wild-type (WT) recipients induced EAE less efficiently than transfer of CD4+ T tg cells indicating the blunted responses of DN tg T cells to self-antigen in vivo. The frequency of tg DN T cells was irrespective of thymic expression of the autoantigen. These data implicate that down-regulation of CD4 co-receptor in the thymus, which is independent from the expression of thymic autoantigen, results in a blunted response to the autoantigen in the periphery and limits the incidence of spontaneous autoimmunity in genetically resistant mice bearing a large autoreactive tg T cell repertoire.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Treatment with ex vivo-generated regulatory T cells (T-reg) has been regarded as a potentially attractive therapeutic approach for autoimmune diseases. However, the dynamics and function of T-reg in autoimmunity are not well understood. Thus, we developed Foxp3gfp knock-in (Foxp3gfp.KI) mice and myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG)(35-55)/IA(b) (MHC class II) tetramers to track autoantigen-specific effector T cells (T-eff) and T-reg in vivo during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model for multiple sclerosis. MOG tetramer-reactive, Foxp3(+) T-reg expanded in the peripheral lymphoid compartment and readily accumulated in the central nervous system (CNS), but did not prevent the onset of disease. Foxp3(+) T cells isolated from the CNS were effective in suppressing naive MOG-specific T cells, but failed to control CNS-derived encephalitogenic T-eff that secreted interleukin (IL)-6 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF). Our data suggest that in order for CD4(+)Foxp3(+) T-reg to effectively control autoimmune reactions in the target organ, it may also be necessary to control tissue inflammation.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: SJL mice are highly susceptible to proteolipid protein (PLP) 139-151-induced experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE). The disease is characterized by a relapsing-remitting type of paralysis. However, the mechanism by which animals recover from EAE is poorly understood. Here, we investigated the role of regulatory T cells in the recovery from disease. We found that Forkhead box P3-expressing CD4+CD25+ T cells were increased in the blood, draining lymph node and spleen of EAE-recovered SJL mice. These cells were anergic and inhibited proliferation of CD4+CD25- T cells to PLP 139-151 or anti-CD3 antibody stimulation. Depletion of CD4+CD25+ T cells during the recovery phase exacerbated disease, resulted in the expansion of IA(s)/PLP 139-151-tetramer-positive cells and enhanced IFN-gamma production. In addition, transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) was shown to be involved in the recovery from EAE as the percentage of CD4+ cells expressing TGF-beta latency-associated peptide (LAP) on the cell surface increased significantly in blood and spleen of EAE-recovered mice as compared with the naive mice and in vivo neutralization of TGF-beta abolished recovery from disease. Taken together, our results demonstrate that both CD4+CD25+ and CD4+LAP+ regulatory T cells mediate recovery from PLP 139-151-induced EAE in SJL mice in which TGF-beta plays an important role.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Myelin proteolipid protein (PLP), the major protein of mammalian CNS myelin, is a member of the proteolipid gene family (pgf). It is an evolutionarily conserved polytopic integral membrane protein and a potential autoantigen in multiple sclerosis (MS). To analyze antibody recognition of PLP epitopes in situ, monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) specific for different regions of human PLP (50-69, 100-123, 139-151, 178-191, 200-219, 264-276) were generated and used to immunostain CNS tissues of representative vertebrates. mAbs to each region recognized whole human PLP on Western blots; the anti-100-123 mAb did not recognize DM-20, the PLP isoform that lacks residues 116-150. All of the mAbs stained fixed, permeabilized oligodendrocytes and mammalian and avian CNS tissue myelin. Most of the mAbs also stained amphibian, teleost, and elasmobranch CNS myelin despite greater diversity of their pgf myelin protein sequences. Myelin staining was observed when there was at least 40% identity of the mAb epitope and known pgf myelin proteins of the same or related species. The pgf myelin proteins of teleosts and elasmobranchs lack 116-150; the anti-100-123 mAb did not stain their myelin. In addition to myelin, the anti-178-191 mAb stained many neurons in all species; other mAbs stained distinct neuron subpopulations in different species. Neuronal staining was observed when there was at least approximately 30% identity of the PLP mAb epitope and known pgf neuronal proteins of the same or related species. Thus, anti-human PLP epitope mAbs simultaneously recognize CNS myelin and neurons even without extensive sequence identity. Widespread anti-PLP mAb recognition of neurons suggests a novel potential pathophysiologic mechanism in MS patients, i.e., that anti-PLP antibodies associated with demyelination might simultaneously recognize pgf epitopes in neurons, thereby affecting their functions.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The random amino acid copolymers FYAK and VWAK ameliorate EAE in a humanized mouse model expressing both a human transgenic myelin basic protein (MBP)85-99-specific T cell receptor and HLA-DR2. Here we show that microglia isolated from the central nervous system (CNS) of humanized mice with EAE induced by MBP85-99 and treated with these copolymers had reduced expression of HLA-DR, and thus reduced capacity to present MBP85-99 and activate transgenic T cells. In vitro microglia up-regulated empty HLA-DR2 upon activation with GM-CSF with or without LPS or IFN-gamma, but not with IL-4 or IL-10. Correspondingly, gene chip arrays showed that the CNS of untreated and YFAK-treated mice differentially expressed pro- and anti-inflammatory molecules during MBP85-99-induced EAE. Interestingly, microglia expressed the full-length gammabeta and alphabeta subunits of the tetrameric adaptor protein complexes AP-1 and AP-2 respectively, but after treatment with GM-CSF these complexes were cleaved, as had been found in immature dendritic cells derived from bone marrow. Strikingly, in vivo the perivascular lymphocyte infiltration seen in untreated mice immunized with MBP85-99 was composed of equal numbers of hVbeta2+ MPB85-99-specific transgenic and hVbeta2- endogenous T cells, while the much smaller infiltration seen after treatment with YFAK was composed predominantly of hVbeta2- endogenous T cells.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Surface molecules that are differentially expressed on Th1 and Th2 cells may be useful in regulating specific immune responses in vivo. Using a panel of mAbs, we have identified murine CD226 as specifically expressed on the surface of differentiated Th1 cells but not Th2 or Th0 cells. Although CD226 is constitutively expressed on CD8 cells, it is up-regulated on CD4 cells upon activation. Th1 differentiation results in enhanced CD226 expression, whereas expression is down-regulated upon Th2 polarization. We demonstrate that CD226 is involved in the regulation of T cell activation; in vivo treatment with anti-CD226 results in significant reduction of Th1 cell expansion and in the induction of APCs that inhibit T cell activation. Furthermore, anti-CD226 treatment delays the onset and reduces the severity of a Th1-mediated autoimmune disease, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Our data suggest that CD226 is a costimulatory molecule that plays an important role in activation and effector functions of Th1 cells.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cross-reactive activation of potentially autoreactive T cells by high-affinity nonself ligands may be important in breaking self-tolerance in autoimmunity. In a mouse transgenic for a cross-reactive TCR, we have previously shown that a hyper-stimulating altered peptide ligand, L144, induced unresponsiveness to the self peptide, proteolipid protein 139-151. In this study, we demonstrate that a superagonist ligand can break T cell tolerance induced by the lower affinity cognate Ag. T cells tolerant to the cognate ligand, Q144, responded to superagonist, L144, by proliferation and the production of mainly IL-4 and IL-10 in vitro. In contrast, T cells that were tolerized to the superagonist were unable to respond to any peptide that cross-reacted with the transgenic TCR. Low-dose immunization with the superagonist L144 was able to break tolerance to the cognate ligand in vivo and resulted in a blunted proliferative response with production of Th2 cytokines.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Myelin basic protein (MBP) is a major candidate autoantigen in multiple sclerosis (MS). Its immunodominant epitope, MBP 85–99, forms a complex with human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DR2 with which multiple sclerosis is genetically associated. Copolymer 1 (Copaxone), a random amino acid copolymer [poly (Y,E,A,K)n] as well as two modified synthetic copolymers [poly (F,Y,A,K)n and poly (V,W,A,K)n] also form complexes with HLA-DR2 (DRA/DRB1*1501) and compete with MBP 85–99 for binding. Moreover, two high-affinity synthetic peptide 15-mers that could inhibit binding even more effectively were previously designed. Here, we show that further-modified peptide 15-mers inhibited even more strongly (in order J5 > J3 > J2) both the binding of MBP 85–99 to HLA-DR2 and IL-2 production by two MBP 85–99-specific HLA-DR2-restricted T cells. J5, J3, and J2 also suppressed both MBP 85–99-induced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in humanized mice and proteolipid protein 139–151-induced EAE in SJL/J mice. Moreover, none of these previously uncharacterized peptide inhibitors crossreacted with MBP 85–99- or proteolipid protein 139–151-specific T cells. In both cases, spleen and lymph node cultures stimulated with these peptides produced large amounts of Th2 cytokines (IL-4 and IL-10), and adoptive transfer of established T cell lines suppressed disease induction. These peptide 15-mers provide specific, nonrandom sequences that appear to be at least as effective as random copolymers in suppressing EAE in several models. • Cop1 • HLA-DR • multiple sclerosis • T cells
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: SJL mice are highly susceptible to experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) induced with myelin proteolipid protein (PLP) peptide 139-151, whereas H-2 congenic B10.S mice are resistant. Immunodominance and susceptibility to EAE are associated with a high precursor frequency of PLP 139-151-specific T cells in the naive repertoire of SJL mice. To understand the mechanism of EAE resistance in B10.S mice, we determined the precursor frequency of PLP 139-151-reactive T cells in both strains by using IAs/PLP 139-151 tetramers. SJL and B10.S mice had similar frequencies of tetramer-reactive T cells in the naive peripheral repertoire. However, in SJL mice, the majority of PLP 139-151 tetramer-positive cells were in the CD4+CD25- population, whereas there were more tetramer-positive cells in the CD4+CD25+ population of B10.S mice. Depletion of CD4+CD25+ cells in vivo facilitated the expansion of PLP 139-151-reactive cells with production of T helper 1 cytokines in EAE-resistant B10.S mice. Furthermore, anti-CD25 Ab treatment before immunization resulted in EAE induction in these otherwise resistant mice. These data indicate an important role for autoantigen-specific CD4+CD25+ cells in genetic resistance to autoimmunity.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A humanized mouse bearing the HLA-DR2 (DRA/DRB1*1501) protein associated with multiple sclerosis (MS) and the myelin basic protein (MBP) 85–99-specific HLA-DR2-restricted T cell receptor from an MS patient has been used to examine the effectiveness of modified amino acid copolymers poly(F,Y,A,K)n and poly-(V,W,A,K)n in therapy of MBP 85–99-induced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in comparison to Copolymer 1 [Copaxone, poly(Y,E,A,K)n]. The copolymers were designed to optimize binding to HLA-DR2. Vaccination, prevention, and treatment of MBP-induced EAE in the humanized mice with copolymers FYAK and VWAK ameliorated EAE more effectively than Copolymer 1, reduced the number of pathological lesions, and prevented the up-regulation of human HLA-DR on CNS microglia. Moreover, VWAK inhibited MBP 85–99-specific T cell proliferation more efficiently than either FYAK or Copolymer 1 and induced anergy of HLA-DR2-restricted transgenic T cells as its principle mechanism. In contrast, FYAK induced proliferation and a pronounced production of the antiinflammatory T helper 2 cytokines IL-4 and IL-10 from nontransgenic T cells as its principle mechanism of immunosuppression. Thus, copolymers generated by using different amino acids inhibited disease using different mechanisms to regulate T cell responses. • multiple sclerosis • DRB1*1501 • microglia • CNS • autoimmunity
Conference Paper: Expression of myelin antigens in the thymus: a little goes a long way
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Copolymer 1 [Cop1, glatiramer acetate, Copaxone, poly(Y,E,A,K)n] is widely used in the treatment of relapsing/remitting multiple sclerosis in which it reduces the frequency of relapses by ≈30%. In the present study, copolymers with modified amino acid compositions (based on the binding motif of myelin basic protein 85–99 to HLA-DR2) have been developed with the aim of suppressing multiple sclerosis more effectively. The enhanced efficacy of these copolymers in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) induced in SJL/J mice with proteolipid protein 139–151 was demonstrated by using three protocols: (i) simultaneous administration of autoantigen and copolymer (termed prevention), (ii) pretreatment with copolymers (vaccination), or (iii) administration of copolymers after disease onset (treatment). Strikingly, in the treatment protocol administration of soluble VWAK and FYAK after onset of disease led to stasis of its progression and suppression of histopathological evidence of EAE. The mechanisms by which these effects are achieved have been examined in several types of assays: binding of copolymers to I-As in competition with proteolipid protein 139–151 (blocking), cytokine production by T cells (T helper 2 polarization), and transfer of protection by CD3⁺ splenocytes or, notably, by copolymer-specific T cell lines (induction of regulatory T cells). The generation of these copolymer-specific regulatory T cells that secrete IL-4 and IL-10 and are independent of the immunizing autoantigen is very prominent among the multiple mechanisms that account for the observed suppressive effect of copolymers in EAE. • multiple sclerosis • cytokines • peptides • T cells • autoimmunity
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have previously shown that naive SJL (H-2(s)) mice, which are highly susceptible to myelin proteolipid protein (PLP)-induced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), have a very high frequency (1/20,000 CD4 T cells) of PLP(139-151)-reactive T cells in the naive repertoire. In this study, we examine the function of this endogenous PLP(139-151)-reactive repertoire in vivo and find that this repertoire encompasses the precursors of pathogenic T cells. Because SJL mice do not develop spontaneous EAE, we have explored the mechanisms that keep this autopathogenic repertoire in check and prevent the development of spontaneous autoimmunity. We crossed IL-4 and IL-10 deficiency onto the SJL background and analyzed the roles of these two immunoregulatory cytokines in regulating the size and effector function of the endogenous PLP(139-151)-reactive repertoire and development of autoimmune disease. We find that IL-10 is important in the homeostatic regulation of the endogenous PLP(139-151)-reactive repertoire in that it both limits the size of the repertoire and prevents development of effector autoaggressive T cells. SJL IL-10(-/-) mice with high numbers of PLP(139-151)-specific precursors in the repertoire did not develop spontaneous EAE, but when they were injected with pertussis toxin, they showed atypical clinical signs of EAE with small numbers of typical mononuclear cell infiltrates predominantly in the meninges. EAE could be inhibited by prior tolerization of the mice with soluble PLP(139-151) peptide. These findings indicate that IL-10 may contribute to the regulation of the endogenous autoimmune repertoire.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice develop multi-organ autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes. We hypothesized that backcrossing the MHC region from SJL (H-2(s)) mice, which have an endogenous PLP(139-151)-reactive repertoire, onto the background of autoimmune-prone NOD mice would result in a mouse strain that is highly susceptible to experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Unexpectedly, although we detected an endogenous PLP(139-151) repertoire in the NOD.S mice, they did not develop spontaneous EAE and were relatively resistant to PLP(139-151)-induced EAE when compared to SJL mice. This resistance was associated with lower production of proinflammatory cytokines and a decreased expansion of PLP(139-151)-specific CD4(+) T cells after immunization and restimulation with PLP peptide in vitro. V(beta) chain usage among PLP(139-151)-reactive T cells differed between SJL and NOD.S mice. Furthermore, NOD.S mice were resistant to the development of insulitis and cyclophosphamide-induced diabetes, but not sialadenitis. Altogether, even though NOD mice develop spontaneous autoimmune diseases, they become relatively resistant to induction of EAE even when they express the EAE-permissive class II molecule I-A(s). Our data show that certain combinations of otherwise susceptibility-conferring MHC and non-MHC genes can mediate autoimmune-disease resistance when they are paired together. These findings do not support the "shared autoimmune gene" hypothesis.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: CD25(+)CD4(+) regulatory T cells inhibit the activation of autoreactive T cells in vitro and in vivo, and suppress organ-specific autoimmune diseases. The mechanism of CD25(+)CD4(+) T cells in the regulation of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is poorly understood. To assess the role of CD25(+)CD4(+) T cells in EAE, SJL mice were immunized with myelin proteolipid protein (PLP)(139-151) to develop EAE and were treated with anti-CD25 mAb. Treatment with anti-CD25 antibody following immunization resulted in a significant enhancement of EAE disease severity and mortality. There was increased inflammation in the central nervous system (CNS) of anti-CD25 mAb-treated mice. Anti-CD25 antibody treatment caused a decrease in the percentage of CD25(+)CD4(+) T cells in blood, peripheral lymph node (LN) and spleen associated with increased production of IFN-gamma and a decrease in IL-10 production by LN cells stimulated with PLP(130-151) in vitro. In addition, transfer of CD25(+)CD4(+) regulatory T cells from naive SJL mice decreased the severity of active EAE. In vitro, anti-CD3-stimulated CD25(+)CD4(+) T cells from naive SJL mice secreted IL-10 and IL-10 soluble receptor (sR) partially reversed the in vitro suppressive activity of CD25(+)CD4(+) T cells. CD25(+)CD4(+) T cells from IL-10-deficient mice were unable to suppress active EAE. These findings demonstrate that CD25(+)CD4(+) T cells suppress pathogenic autoreactive T cells in actively induced EAE and suggest they may play an important natural regulatory function in controlling CNS autoimmune disease through a mechanism that involves IL-10.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Detection of autoreactive T cells using MHC II tetramers is difficult because of the low affinity of their TCR. We have generated a class II tetramer using the IA(s) class II molecule combined with an autoantigenic peptide from myelin proteolipid protein (PLP; PLP(139-151)) and used it to analyze myelin PLP(139-151)-reactive T cells. Using monomers and multimerized complexes labeled with PE, we confirmed the specificity of the reagent by bioassay and flow cytometry. The IA(s) tetramers stimulated and stained the PLP(139-151)-specific 5B6 TCR transgenic T cells and a polyclonal cell line specific for PLP(139-151), but not a control T cell line specific for PLP(178-191). We used this reagent to optimize conditions to detect low affinity autoreactive T cells. We found that high pH ( approximately 8.0) and neuraminidase treatment enhances the staining capacity of PLP(139-151) tetramer without compromising specificity. Furthermore, we found that induction of calcium fluxing by tetramers in T cells may be used as a sensitive measure to detect autoreactive T cells with a low affinity. Taken together, the data show that the tetrameric reagent binds and stimulates PLP(139-151)-reactive T cells with specificity. This tetrameric reagent will be useful in studying the evolution of PLP(139-151)-specific repertoire in naive mice and its expansion during the autoimmune disease experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.
Harvard UniversityCambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Brigham and Women's HospitalBoston, Massachusetts, United States