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Portland, VA, United States

Adamus G.,Casey Eye Institute | Brown L.,Casey Eye Institute | Andrew S.,Neuroimmunology Research | Meza-Romero R.,Neuroimmunology Research | And 3 more authors.
Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science

PURPOSE. Optic neuritis (ON) is a condition involving primary inflammation, demyelination, and axonal injury in the optic nerve and leads to apoptotic retinal ganglion cell (RGC) death, which contributes to the persistence of visual loss. Currently, ON has no effective treatment. The goal was to determine the effectiveness of immunotherapy with recombinant T-cell receptor ligand (RTL) in preventing ON in humanized HLA-DR2 transgenic mice. METHODS. Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) was induced with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein in humanized HLA-DR2 (DRβ*1501) transgenic mice. Five consecutive doses of RTL342M were administrated at the onset of ON. The development of autoimmune ON was assessed by histopathology at different time points. The levels of myelin loss, axonal loss, and RGC damage were examined by immunofluorescence. RESULTS. HLA-DR2 mice developed chronic ON 2 days before EAE characterized by progressive neurodegeneration in both organs. RTL342M significantly suppressed inflammation in the optic nerve and spinal cord and provided protection for at least 30 days. Examination of myelin loss showed a marked suppression of demyelination and an increase in myelin recovery in the optic nerve. Moreover, RTL342M treatment revealed a neuroprotective effect on optic nerve axons and RGCs in retinas at postimmunization (PI) day 62. CONCLUSIONS. RTL342M suppressed clinical and histologic signs of EAE/ON by preventing the recruitment of inflammatory cells into the optic nerve and showed neuroprotective effects against ON. However, to achieve full therapeutic benefit, more doses may be needed. These findings suggest a possible clinical application of this novel class of T-cell-tolerizing drugs for patients with optic neuritis. © 2012 The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Inc. Source

Bodhankar S.,Neuroimmunology Research | Offner H.,Oregon Health And Science University
Immunology, Endocrine and Metabolic Agents in Medicinal Chemistry

A major focus of our laboratory has been an in-depth evaluation as to how estrogens exert a pronounced protective effect on clinical and histological disease in the animal model of multiple sclerosis (MS), experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). An important issue regarding their therapeutic application has been the undesirable estrogenic side effects thought to be mediated primarily through 17β-estradiol (E2) binding to intracellular estrogen receptor alpha (ERα). With the discovery and characterization of GPR30 as the putative membrane estrogen receptor, we sought to study whether signaling through GPR30 was sufficient to mediate protection against EAE without engagement of ERα. Treatment of EAE in WT mice with G-1, a selective GPR30 agonist, retained estradiol's ability to protect against clinical and histological EAE without estrogenic side effects. G-1 treatment deviated cytokine profiles and enhanced suppressive activity of CD4+Foxp3+ Treg cells through a GPR30- and programmed death 1 (PD-1)-dependent mechanism. This novel finding was indicative of the protective effect of GPR30 activation in EAE and provides a strong foundation for the clinical application of GPR30 agonists such as G-1 in MS. However, future studies are needed to elucidate cross-signaling and evaluate possible additive effects of combined signaling through both GPR30 and ER-α. Deciphering the possible mechanism of involvement of GPR30 in estrogenmediated protection against EAE may result in lowering treatment doses of E2 and GPR30 agonists that could minimize risks and maximize immunoregulation and therapeutic effects in MS. Alternatively, one might envision using E2 derivatives with reduced estrogenic activity alone or in combination with GPR30 agonists as therapies for both male and female MS patients. © 2011 Bentham Science Publishers. Source

Dotson A.L.,Neuroimmunology Research | Dotson A.L.,Oregon Health And Science University | Wang J.,Oregon Health And Science University | Saugstad J.,Oregon Health And Science University | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Neuroimmunology

The peripheral immune response contributes to neurodegeneration after stroke yet little is known about how this process differs between males and females. The current study demonstrates that splenectomy prior to experimental stroke eliminates sex differences in infarct volume and activated brain monocytes/microglia. In the periphery of both sexes, activated T cells correlate directly with stroke outcome while monocytes are reduced by splenectomy only in males. This study provides new information about the sex specific mechanisms of the peripheral immune response in neurodegeneration after stroke and demonstrates the need for representation of both sexes in basic and clinical stroke research. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Source

Huan J.,Oregon Health And Science University | Meza-Romero R.,Oregon Health And Science University | Mooney J.L.,Oregon Health And Science University | Vandenbark A.A.,Oregon Health And Science University | And 4 more authors.
Mucosal Immunology

Celiac disease (CD) is a disorder of the small intestine caused by intolerance to wheat gluten and related proteins in barley and rye. CD4 T cells have a central role in CD, recognizing and binding complexes of HLA-DQ2.5 bearing gluten peptides that have survived digestion and that are deamidated by tissue transglutaminase (TG2), propagating a cascade of inflammatory processes that damage and eventually destroy the villous tissue structures of the small intestine. In this study, we present data showing that recombinant DQ2.5-derived molecules bearing covalently tethered α2-gliadin-61-71 peptide have a remarkable ability to block antigen-specific T-cell proliferation and inhibited proinflammatory cytokine secretion in human DQ2.5-restricted α2-gliadin-specific T-cell clones obtained from patients with CD. The results from our in vitro studies suggest that HLA-DQ2.5-derived molecules could significantly inhibit and perhaps reverse the intestinal pathology caused by T-cell-mediated inflammation and the associated production of proinflammatory cytokines. © 2011 Society for Mucosal Immunology. Source

Bodhankar S.,Neuroimmunology Research | Bodhankar S.,Medical Center | Vandenbark A.A.,Neuroimmunology Research | Vandenbark A.A.,Medical Center | And 5 more authors.

It is now well accepted that sex hormones have immunoregulatory activity and may prevent exacerbations in multiple sclerosis during pregnancy. Our previous studies demonstrated that oestrogen (17β-oestradiol; E2) protection against experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is mediated mainly through oestrogen receptor-α (ERα) and the membrane receptor G-protein-coupled receptor 30 (GPR30) and is abrogated in the absence of B cells and the co-inhibitory receptor, Programmed Death-1 (PD-1). To critically evaluate the cell source of the E2 and PD-1 co-inhibitory pathways in EAE regulation, we assessed the requirement for ERs on transferred B cells and downstream effects on expression of PD-1/PD-ligand on CD4+ Foxp3+ regulatory T (Treg) cells in B-cell-replenished, E2-treated B-cell-deficient (μMT-/-) mice with EAE. The results clearly demonstrated involvement of ERα and GPR30 on transferred B cells that mediated the protective E2 treatment effect on EAE and further showed an E2-mediated B-cell-dependent up-regulation of PD-1 on CD4+ Foxp3+ Treg cells. These findings identify regulatory B-cell populations as key players in potentiating Treg-cell activity during E2-mediated protection against EAE. © 2012 The Authors. Immunology © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Source

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