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Corticosteroid Treatment Of Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis In The Lewis Rat Results in Loss of V Beta 8.2+ and Myelin Basic Protein-Reactive Cells from the Spinal Cord, with Increased Total T-Cell Apoptosis but Reduced Apoptosis of V Beta 8.2+

By P. A. McCombe, I. Nickson, Z. Tabi and M. P. Pender


We have studied the effects of corticosteroid treatment on the numbers of lymphocytes obtained from the spinal cords of Lewis rats with acute experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) induced by inoculation with myelin basic protein (MBP) and adjuvants. Flow cytometric studies showed that treatment with dexamethasone (4 mg/kg) 8-12 h prior to study on day 14 after inoculation resulted in a reduction in the numbers of CD5+, TCR alpha beta + and V beta 8.2+ cells in the spinal cord. Limiting dilution analysis indicated that dexamethasone treatment 12 h prior to study on day 12 after inoculation reduced the frequencies of MBP-reactive and interleukin-2-responsive lymphocytes in the spinal cord to low levels, but reduced the frequency of concanavalin-A-responsive lymphocytes to a lesser extent. Using propidium iodide staining of nuclear chromatin we also studied lymphocyte apoptosis. Greater numbers of apoptotic cells were found in the cells extracted from the spinal cords of rats, examined on day 14, that had been treated 1-12 h previously with dexamethasone, than in saline-treated controls. This increased level of apoptosis was observed in the CD5+ and TCR alpha beta + cell populations. At 1-4 h after dexamethasone treatment there was a reduction in the selective apoptosis of V beta 8.2+ cells that normally occurs during spontaneous recovery from EAE. Therefore apoptosis of V beta 8.2+ cells cannot explain the reduction in the numbers of V beta 8.2+ cells and MBP-reactive cells in the CNS after dexamethasone treatment. By 8-12 h after dexamethasone treatment the selectivity of the apoptotic process was restored. These studies suggest that a reduction in the number of T-lymphocytes in the central nervous system contributes to the beneficial effects of corticosteroids in EAE

Topics: apoptosis, corticosteroids, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, multiple sclerosis, recovery, T-lymphocytes, experimental allergic encephalomyelitis, EAE, MS, 320200 Immunology, 320207 Autoimmunity, 321013 Neurology and Neuromuscular Diseases
Year: 1996
DOI identifier: 10.1016/S0165-5728(96)00043-4
OAI identifier:

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