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Leiden, Netherlands

Puentes F.,Queen Mary, University of London | Malaspina A.,Queen Mary, University of London | Van Noort J.M.,Delta Crystallon | Amor S.,Queen Mary, University of London | Amor S.,VU University Amsterdam
Brain Pathology | Year: 2016

Neurological dysfunction and motor neuron degeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is strongly associated with neuroinflammation reflected by activated microglia and astrocytes in the CNS. In ALS endogenous triggers in the CNS such as aggregated protein and misfolded proteins activate a pathogenic response by innate immune cells. However, there is also strong evidence for a neuroprotective immune response in ALS. Emerging evidence also reveals changes in the peripheral adaptive immune responses as well as alterations in the blood brain barrier that may aid traffic of lymphocytes and antibodies into the CNS. Understanding the triggers of neuroinflammation is key to controlling neuronal loss. Here, we review the current knowledge regarding the roles of non-neuronal cells as well as the innate and adaptive immune responses in ALS. Existing ALS animal models, in particular genetic rodent models, are very useful to study the underlying pathogenic mechanisms of motor neuron degeneration. We also discuss the approaches used to target the pathogenic immune responses and boost the neuroprotective immune pathways as novel immunotherapies for ALS. © 2016 International Society of Neuropathology.

Bsibsi M.,Delta Crystallon | Peferoen L.A.N.,VU University Amsterdam | Holtman I.R.,University of Groningen | Nacken P.J.,Delta Crystallon | And 8 more authors.
Acta Neuropathologica | Year: 2014

Activated microglia and macrophages play a key role in driving demyelination during multiple sclerosis (MS), but the factors responsible for their activation remain poorly understood. Here, we present evidence for a dual-trigger role of IFN-γ and alpha B-crystallin (HSPB5) in this context. In MS-affected brain tissue, accumulation of the molecular chaperone HSPB5 by stressed oligodendrocytes is a frequent event. We have shown before that this triggers a TLR2-mediated protective response in surrounding microglia, the molecular signature of which is widespread in normal-appearing brain tissue during MS. Here, we show that IFN-γ, which can be released by infiltrated T cells, changes the protective response of microglia and macrophages to HSPB5 into a robust pro-inflammatory classical response. Exposure of cultured microglia and macrophages to IFN-γ abrogated subsequent IL-10 induction by HSPB5, and strongly promoted HSPB5-triggered release of TNF-α, IL-6, IL-12, IL-1β and reactive oxygen and nitrogen species. In addition, high levels of CXCL9, CXCL10, CXL11, several guanylate-binding proteins and the ubiquitin-like protein FAT10 were induced by combined activation with IFN-γ and HSPB5. As immunohistochemical markers for microglia and macrophages exposed to both IFN-γ and HSPB5, these latter factors were found to be selectively expressed in inflammatory infiltrates in areas of demyelination during MS. In contrast, they were absent from activated microglia in normal-appearing brain tissue. Together, our data suggest that inflammatory demyelination during MS is selectively associated with IFN-γ-induced re-programming of an otherwise protective response of microglia and macrophages to the endogenous TLR2 agonist HSPB5. © 2014 Springer-Verlag.

Van Noort J.M.,Delta Crystallon | Bsibsi M.,Delta Crystallon | Nacken P.J.,Delta Crystallon | Verbeek R.,Delta Crystallon | Venneker E.H.G.,Delta Crystallon
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

As a molecular chaperone and activator of Toll-like receptor 2-mediated protective responses by microglia and macrophages, the small heat shock protein alpha B-crystallin (HspB5) exerts therapeutic effects in different animal models for neuroinflammation, including the model for multiple sclerosis (MS). Yet, HspB5 can also stimulate human antigenspecific memory T cells to release IFN-γ, a cytokine with well-documented detrimental effects during MS. In this study, we explored in a Phase IIa randomized clinical trial the therapeutic application of HspB5 in relapsing-remitting MS (RR-MS), using intravenous doses sufficient to support its protective effects, but too low to trigger pathogenic memory T-cell responses. These sub-immunogenic doses were selected based on in vitro analysis of the dose-response profile of human T cells and macrophages to HspB5, and on the immunological effects of HspB5 in healthy humans as established in a preparatory Phase I study. In a 48-week randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind Phase IIa trial, three bimonthly intravenous injections of 7.5,12.5 or 17.5 mg HspB5 were found to be safe and well tolerated in RR-MS patients. While predefined clinical endpoints did not differ significantly between the relatively small groups of MS patients treated with either HspB5 or placebo, repeated administration especially of the lower doses of HspB5 led to a progressive decline in MS lesion activity as monitored by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which was not seen in the placebo group. Exploratory linear regression analysis revealed this decline to be significant in the combined group receiving either of the two lower doses, and to result in a 76% reduction in both number and total volumes of active MRI lesions at 9 months into the study. These data provide the first indication for clinical benefit resulting from intervention in RR-MS with HspB5. © 2015 van Noort et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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