Eur J Immunol. 2004 Feb;34(2):388-97
Ford ML, Evavold BD.
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Emory University, Atlanta, USA.
Previous strategies to ameliorate experimental autoimmune encephalitis (EAE) include the treatment of autoreactive T cells with altered peptide ligands, which contain amino acid substitutions at TCR contact residues.
We recently showed that a variant of myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) 35-55 possessing low affinity for MHC (45D) induced anergy in MOG 35-55-specific T cells and reduced their encephalitogenicity upon adoptive transfer.
Here we investigate the characteristics of the primary immune response to this MHC anchor-substituted peptide.
Overall, we observed that immunization with 45D resulted in the production of IFN-gamma and anti-MOG 35-55 autoantibodies at levels similar to those of MOG 35-55-immunized mice with active EAE.
However, no symptoms of clinical or histological EAE or overt histological optic neuritis were observed in 45D-immunized mice.
Consistent with this finding, 45D-immunized mice did not exhibit CD4(+) infiltrates into the CNS.
Therefore, MOG 35-55-specific precursors stimulated with a weak ligand (45D) mediate some EAE-associated effector functions but are unable to fully initiate the inflammatory process in the central nervous system that leads to clinical manifestation of EAE.