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More MS news articles for February 2003

Expression of the Long Form of Human FLIP by Retroviral Gene Transfer of Hemopoietic Stem Cells Exacerbates Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis

J Immunol 2003 Feb 15;170(4):2064-73
Djerbi M, Abdul-Majid KB, Abedi-Valugerdi M, Olsson T, Harris RA, Grandien A.
Department of Immunology, Wenner-Gren Institute, University of Stockholm, Stockholm, Sweden. Neuroimmunology Unit, L8:04 Center for Molecular Medicine, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.

Subsidence of inflammation and clinical recovery in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is postulated to involve apoptosis of inflammatory cells.

To test this concept, we examined the effects of overexpressing the long form of human FLICE-inhibitory protein, a potent inhibitor of death receptor-mediated apoptosis, in myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein-induced EAE in DBA/1 mice.

We found that overexpression of the long form of human FLICE-inhibitory protein by retroviral gene transfer of hemopoietic stem cells led to a clinically more severe EAE in these mice compared with control mice receiving the retroviral vector alone.

The exacerbated disease was evident by an enhanced and prolonged inflammatory reaction in the CNS of these animals compared with control mice.

The acute phase of EAE was characterized by a massive infiltration of macrophages and granulocytes and a simultaneous increase in TNF-alpha production in the CNS.

In the chronic phase of the disease, there was a prolonged inflammatory response in the form of persistent CD4(+) T and B cells in the CNS and a peripheral Th1 cytokine bias caused by elevated levels of IFN-gamma and reduced levels of IL-4 in the spleen.

Our findings demonstrate that death receptor-mediated apoptosis can be important in the pathogenesis of EAE and further emphasize the need for effective apoptotic elimination of inflammatory cells to achieve disease remission.