More MS news articles for August 2002

Induction of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in the absence of c-Jun N-terminal kinase 2

Int Immunol 2002 Aug;14(8):849-56
Nicolson K, Freland S, Weir C, Delahunt B, Flavell RA, Backstrom BT.
Malaghan Institute of Medical Research and Department of Pathology, Wellington School of Medicine, Wellington South, New Zealand Section of Immunobiology, Yale University School of Medicine and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.

Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is a CD4(+) T cell-dependent, organ-specific autoimmune model commonly used to investigate mechanisms involved in the activation of autoreactive T(h)1 cells.

Mitogen-activated protein kinases such as c-Jun N-terminal kinase (Jnk) 1 and 2 play an important role in the differentiation of naive precursors into T(h)1 or T(h)2 effector cells.

To investigate the role of Jnk2 on autoimmunity, Jnk2(-/-) and wild-type mice were immunized with the myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) 35-55 peptide and the onset of EAE studied.

Surprisingly, Jnk2(-/-) mice were as susceptible to EAE as wild-type mice, regardless of whether low or high antigen doses were used to induce disease.

In vitro stimulation of lymph node cells from Jnk2(-/-) and wild-type mice resulted in comparable proliferation in response to MOG35-55, Mycobacterium tuberculosis and concanavalin A.

MOG35-55-specific T cells lacking Jnk2 showed a T(h)1 cytokine profile with IFN-gamma, but no IL-4 or IL-5 production.

No differences in the types of infiltrating cells or myelin destruction in the central nervous system were found between Jnk2(-/-) and wild-type mice, indicating that lack of Jnk2 does not alter the effector phase of EAE.

Our results suggest that, despite involvement in T(h)1/T(h)2 differentiation in vitro, Jnk2 is necessary neither for the induction nor effector phase of MOG35-55-induced EAE and nor is it required for antigen-specific IFN-gamma production.