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More MS news articles for August 2003

17Beta-estradiol treatment profoundly down-regulates gene expression in spinal cord tissue in mice protected from experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis

Arch Immunol Ther Exp (Warsz). 2003;51(3):185-93
Matejuk A, Dwyer J, Hopke C, Vandenbark AA, Offner H.
Department of Neurology, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR 97201, USA.

It is now well documented that experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) can be effectively prevented by estrogen therapy.

Previously, we identified a limited set of genes that were altered in spleens of mice protected from EAE by 17beta-estradiol (E2) treatment.

As a continuation of these studies, we present here transcriptional changes in genes expressed in spinal cord tissue.

The Affymetrix microarray system was used to screen more than 12,000 genes from E2-treated double transgenic (BV8S2 and AV4) female mice protected from EAE vs. control mice with severe EAE.

We found that estrogen therapy had a profound inhibitory effect on the expressions of many immune-related genes in spinal cords.

Estrogen significantly affected the transcription of 315 genes, 302 of which were down-regulated and only 13 that were up-regulated by > or = 2.4 fold.

A number of genes encoding the histocompatibility complex, cytokines/receptors, chemokines, adhesion molecules, and signal transduction proteins were strongly down-regulated (> 20 fold) in estrogen-treated mice to levels similar to those of the spinal cord tissue from unmanipulated mice.

The identification of genes with altered expression patterns in the spinal cords of estrogen-treated mice provides unique insight into the process that ultimately results in protection against EAE.