Therapy with antibodies against CD40L (CD154) and CD44-variant isoforms reduces experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis induced by a proteolipid protein peptide

Mult Scler. 1998 Jun;4(3):147-53. doi: 10.1177/135245859800400312.


Interactions between mononuclear cells are required for the formation of inflammatory infiltrates in the CNS and the activation of cellular effector functions provoking demyelination in MS. Membrane-expressed costimulatory molecules are crucial to such interactions. We therefore investigated whether two costimulatory molecules, CD40L (CD154, expressed on activated CD4-possible T cells) and selected CD44-variant isoforms (expressed on activated CD4-positive T cells), are targets for immunotherapy in MS. The model of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) induced in SJL-mice by immunization with a peptide derived from the proteolipid protein (PLP139-151) was optimized to address these questions. A previous observation that anti-CD40L (CD154) monoclonal antibodies can effectively prevent EAE in this model was confirmed, and extended by demonstrating that CD40 is expressed by cells of the monocytic lineage infiltrating the spinal cord. In vivo treatment with antibody against the standard isoform of CD44 (CD44s or CD44H) did not affect disease burden. In contrast, combined treatment with antibodies against the isoforms CD44v6, v7 and v10, which are thought to be involved in inflammatory processes, reduced the disease burden considerably. In addition, CD44v10-expressing cells were detected in the spinal cord. These data support the idea that CD40-CD40L interactions form a target for immunotherapy of MS, and indicate that cells expressing CD44v6, v7 and/or v10-containing isoforms have such potential as well.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • CD40 Antigens / immunology*
  • CD40 Ligand
  • Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental / chemically induced
  • Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental / therapy*
  • Female
  • Hyaluronan Receptors / immunology*
  • Immunization
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Isoantigens / immunology*
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Myelin Proteolipid Protein / immunology
  • Peptide Fragments / immunology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • CD40 Antigens
  • Hyaluronan Receptors
  • Isoantigens
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Myelin Proteolipid Protein
  • Peptide Fragments
  • myelin proteolipid protein (139-151)
  • CD40 Ligand