J Interferon Cytokine Res 2003 Feb;23(2):83-9
Harzheim M, Altenschmidt M, Heneka MT, Schroder R, Klockgether T, Schmidt S.
Department of Neurology, University of Bonn, Germany.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by multifocal demyelination and axonal damage in the central nervous system (CNS).
The disruption of the endothelial blood-brain barrier (BBB) with consecutive transmigration of inflammatory cells into the brain parenchyma is of critical importance in the pathogenesis of MS.
The integrity of the BBB and the adjacent network of glial cells partially depends on the assembly of intercellular contacts between astrocytes.
We demonstrate that recombinant interferon-gamma (rIFN-gamma), a proinflammatory cytokine critically involved in the disruption of the BBB, downregulates the expression of the cell adhesion molecules N-cadherin and vinculin in astrocytic C6 cells using Western blot and immunofluorescence microscopy.
By contrast, IFN-beta1a, an established treatment for relapsing-remitting MS, increases the expression of N-cadherin and vinculin and partly inhibits the downregulation of these adhesion molecules by phytohemagglutinin (PHA)-stimulated IFN-gamma-secreting human T lymphocytes in coculture experiments.
In summary, we demonstrate that IFN-beta1a modifies the assembly of N-cadherin- and vinculin-mediated intercellular contacts between astrocytic C6 cells in vitro.
This effect may also contribute to the therapeutic action of IFN-beta1a in MS.