Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE) can be induced in mice of the C57BL/6 strain by subcutaneous immunization with myelin/oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) peptide p35-55 in CFA, administered twice at an interval of one week and supplemented with Bordetella pertussis toxin given IV. Here, we studied the effect on the induction of EAE of depleting antibodies to CD4, CD8, or CD25 administered before either the first or the second dose of MOG p35-55. We found that anti-CD4 abolished EAE when given before the first immunization; anti-CD4 did not affect the disease when it was given before the second immunization. Anti-CD8 enhanced EAE induction when given before either of the two immunizations. Anti-CD25 enhanced EAE to the same degree as anti-CD8 when given before the first immunization, but anti-CD25 was even more effective in enhancing EAE when given before the second immunization. The anti-CD25 treatment led to significantly enhanced IFNgamma production by T cells responding to MOG p35-55 and persisting anti-MOG antibodies detectable 56 days after the first immunization. Administration of anti-CD8 or anti-CD25 abolished the need for pertussis toxin to induce EAE. These findings are compatible with the idea that CD4 T cells are required for the initial induction of EAE and that the disease is down-regulated by T cells expressing CD8 or CD25. These regulatory T cells exist prior to MOG immunization, but the CD25+ regulators appear to be further amplified by immunization.
Copyright 2004 Elsevier Ltd.