J Exp Med 2002 Jan 7;195(1):15-21
Menges M, Rossner S, Voigtlander C, Schindler H, Kukutsch NA, Bogdan C, Erb K, Schuler G, Lutz MB.
Department of Dermatology, University of Erlangen, Erlangen 91052, Germany.
Mature dendritic cells (DCs) are believed to induce T cell immunity, whereas immature DCs induce T cell tolerance.
Here we describe that injections of DCs matured with tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha (TNF/DCs) induce antigen-specific protection from experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in mice.
Maturation by TNF-alpha induced high levels of major histocompatibility complex class II and costimulatory molecules on DCs, but they remained weak producers of proinflammatory cytokines.
One injection of such TNF/DCs pulsed with auto-antigenic peptide ameliorated the disease score of EAE. This could not be observed with immature DCs or DCs matured with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) plus anti-CD40.
Three consecutive injections of peptide-pulsed TNF/DCs derived from wild-type led to the induction of peptide-specific predominantly interleukin (IL)-10-producing CD4(+) T cells and complete protection from EAE.
Blocking of IL-10 in vivo could only partially restore the susceptibility to EAE, suggesting an important but not exclusive role of IL-10 for EAE prevention.
Notably, the protection was peptide specific, as TNF/DCs pulsed with unrelated peptide could not prevent EAE.
In conclusion, this study describes that stimulation by TNF-alpha results in incompletely matured DCs (semi-mature DCs) which induce peptide-specific IL-10-producing T cells in vivo and prevent EAE.