Oral tolerance in EAE: reversal of tolerance by T helper cell cytokines

J Neuroimmunol. 1996 May;66(1-2):77-84. doi: 10.1016/0165-5728(96)00027-6.


Oral administration of myelin basic protein (MBP) inhibits clinical and histopathological manifestations of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), but only partially reduces serum anti-MBP antibody titers. We report here that orally administered MBP alters the isotypic distribution of anti-MBP antibody-forming cells (AFC) among various lymphoid tissues, with the most profound differences seen in mucosal tissues. We observed an isotype-selective reduction in anti-MBP IgA but not IgM AFC frequencies in Peyer's patches. The anti-MBP IgA AFC frequencies could be reconstituted by addition of interleukin 4 (IL-4) and interleukin 5(IL-5). The cytokines did not appear to generate de novo responses since no increases in anti-MBP lgA AFC frequencies were observed in control cultures. These results indicate that decreased antibody production, as a result of oral antigen administration, can be reversed by exposure to the appropriate cytokines.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Antibody-Producing Cells / immunology
  • Antibody-Producing Cells / pathology
  • Cytokines / pharmacology
  • Cytokines / physiology*
  • Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental / immunology*
  • Immune Tolerance / drug effects*
  • Immune Tolerance / physiology*
  • Immunoglobulin A / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin M / analysis
  • Kinetics
  • Leukocyte Count / drug effects
  • Lymphoid Tissue / immunology
  • Lymphoid Tissue / pathology
  • Male
  • Myelin Basic Protein / administration & dosage*
  • Myelin Basic Protein / immunology
  • Myelin Basic Protein / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Lew
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / metabolism*


  • Cytokines
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Myelin Basic Protein