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More MS news articles for May 2004

Th1 and Th2 cytokine immunomodulation by gangliosides in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis

Cytokine. 2004 May 21;26(4):155-63
Monteiro De Castro G, Eduarda Zanin M, Ventura-Oliveira D, Aparecida Vilella C, Ashimine R, De Lima Zollner R.
Laboratorio de Imunologia & Alergia Experimental, Departamento de Clinica Medica, Faculdade de Ciencias Medicas, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, UNICAMP, PO Box 6111, Campinas/SP 13081-970, Brazil.

In experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, a classical model for multiple sclerosis, the cytokines provide the necessary signals to activate specific T cells for self-antigens.

Gangliosides have multiple immunomodulatory activities, decreasing the lymphoproliferative responses and modulating cytokine production.

Here, we tested the effects of gangliosides on the switching of Th1 to Th2 cytokine expression, in spleen cells obtained from Lewis rats during the acute phase of EAE, and after recovery from the disease.

For this purpose, total RNA from spleen cells was isolated and submitted to RT-PCR to investigate Th1 (IL-2, TNF-alpha, and IFN-gamma) and Th2/Th3 (IL-10 and TGF-beta) cytokine gene expression.

Results demonstrate that the group treated with gangliosides displays mild disease, with low expression of IFN-gamma mRNA and high TGF-beta mRNA expression.

We conclude that the gangliosides may modulate Th1 cells by the synthesis of cytokines shifting the profile to the Th2/Th3 phenotype.