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Opioid growth factor and low dose naltrexone impair central nervous system infiltration by CD4+T lymphocytes in established experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, a model of multiple sclerosis

Title
Opioid growth factor and low dose naltrexone impair central nervous system infiltration by CD4+T lymphocytes in established experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, a model of multiple sclerosis
Publication Type
Journal Article
Research Type
Animal
Reported as
Date
January 01, 2016
Authors
Hammer LA, Waldner H, Zagon IS, McLaughlin PJ.
Institution
Penn State University
Link
Abstract

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (CNS), characterized by infiltrating myelin-reactive T lymphocytes and demyelinating lesions. Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is the animal model widely utilized to study MS. EAE is mediated by CD4(+) T cells and can be induced in EAE-susceptible mice through immunization with a myelin antigen, such as proteolipid protein 139-151 (PLP139-151) in SJL mice. In this PLP-induced EAE model, autoreactive CD4(+) T cells migrate from peripheral tissues into the CNS where they are reactivated resulting in CNS damage. Th1 and Th17 cells produce the pro-inflammatory cytokines IFNγ and IL-17, respectively, that have been shown to have pathogenic roles in EAE and MS. Anti-inflammatory Th2, IL-4 secreting cells, have been indicated to inhibit EAE exacerbation. However, given the inflammatory environment of EAE, Th2 effector cells are outnumbered by Th1/Th17 cells. Regulatory CD4(+) T cells suppress immune reactions and have been demonstrated to be dysfunctional in MS patients. Opioid growth factor (OGF), chemically termed [Met(5)]-enkephalin, is a negative growth factor that interacts with the OGF receptor. The OGF-OGFr axis can be activated through exogenous administration of OGF or a low dosage of naltrexone (LDN), an opioid antagonist. We have previously demonstrated that modulation of the OGF-OGFr axis results in alleviation from relapse-remitting EAE, and that CNS-infiltrating CD3(+) T cells are diminished with exogenous OGF or intermittent blockade with LDN administration. In this paper, we aimed to determine whether OGF or LDN alter the Th effector responses of CD4(+) T lymphocytes within the CNS in established EAE. We report in these studies that the numbers of CD4(+) T lymphocytes in the CNS of EAE mice are decreased following treatment with OGF for five days but not LDN. However, modulation of the OGF-OGFr axis did not result in changes to CD4(+) Th effector cell responses in the CNS of EAE mice.