Pohl et al 2013 Acta Neuropathologica Communications
Pohl M, Kawakami N, Kitic M, Bauer J, Martins R, Fischer M, Santos J, Mader S, Ellwart J, Misu T, Fujihara K, Wekerle H, Reindl M, Lassmann H, Bradl M
(2013) Acta Neuropathologica Communications, 24;1(1):85
Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is an inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS), which is characterized by the presence of pathogenic serum autoantibodies against aquaporin 4 (AQP4) in the vast majority of patients. The contribution of T cells to the formation of astrocyte destructive lesions is currently unclear. However, active human NMO lesions contain CD4+ T-lymphocytes expressing the activation marker Ox40, and the expression is more profound compared to that seen in MS lesions of comparable activity. Therefore, we analyzed the role of T-cell activation within the CNS in the initiation of NMO lesions in an experimental model of co-transfer of different encephalitogenic T-cells and human AQP4 antibody containing NMO immunoglobulin (NMO IgG). We further studied the expression of the T-cell activation marker Ox40 in NMO and multiple sclerosis lesions in different stages of activity.
All encephalitogenic T-cell lines used in our experiments induced brain inflammation with a comparable extent of blood brain barrier damage, allowing human NMO IgG to penetrate into the brain and spinal cord tissue. However, astrocyte destructive NMO lesions were only seen with T-cells, which showed signs of activation in the lesions. T-cell activation was reflected by the expression of the activation marker Ox40 and pronounced production of γ-IFN, which was able to increase the production of complement proteins and of the Fc gamma III receptor (Fcgr3) and decreased production of complement inhibitory protein Factor H in microglia.
Our data indicate that local activation of T-cells provide an inflammatory environment in the CNS, which allows AQP4 auto-antibodies to induce astrocyte destructive NMO-like lesions.
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