More MS news articles for April 2002

Macrophages and nitric oxide as the possible cellular and molecular basis for strain and gender differences in susceptibility to autoimmune central nervous system inflammation

Immunol Cell Biol 2002 Apr;80(2):188-97
Staykova MA, Cowden W, Willenborg DO.
The Neurosciences Research Unit, The Canberra Hospital, Australia.

PVG rats are resistant to actively induced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) and this appears to be directly related to high and sustained systemic levels of reactive nitrogen intermediates(RNI) following sensitization for EAE when compared to the highly susceptible Lewis rat.

An apparent cellular basis for the different EAE susceptibility between the two rat strains is described.

Spleens of PVG rats have increased monocyte/macrophage numbers(NO producing cells) and lower erythrocyte (NO scavengers) to nucleated spleen cell ratios compared with Lewis rats.

Splenectomy demonstrated the pivotal role of the spleen in resistance to EAE as splenectomized PVG rats were rendered completely susceptible to disease induction.It was further demonstrated that EAE resistance in PVG rats is limited only to females and that only female PVG rats have increased splenic macrophage and an enhanced NO production following immunization.

The males are fully susceptible to EAE and their spleen cell populations are similar to those of Lewis rats of either gender.

Despite being resistant to active disease induction, immunized female PVG rats can generate EAE effector cells that are capable of passively transferring disease.Furthermore, female PVG rats are fully susceptible to passively transferred EAE.

Thus, there appears to be no defect in the female PVG target tissue or in the processing or presentation of antigen,but a block at the level of effector cell expansion and/or recirculation and transmigration into the target tissue in actively induced EAE.