Publications by authors named "Ying C Q Zang"

17 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Regulatory and pro-inflammatory phenotypes of myelin basic protein-autoreactive T cells in multiple sclerosis.

Int Immunol 2009 Dec 11;21(12):1329-40. Epub 2009 Oct 11.

Department of Neurology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

MBP-specific autoreactive T cells are considered pro-inflammatory T cells and thought to play an important role in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS). Here, we report that MBP(83-99)-specific T cells generated from MS patients (n = 7) were comprised of pro-inflammatory and regulatory subsets of distinct phenotypes. The pro-inflammatory phenotype was characterized by high production of IFN-gamma, IL-6, IL-21 and IL-17 and low expression of FOXP3, whereas the regulatory subset expressed high levels of FOXP3 and exhibited potent regulatory functions. The regulatory subset of MBP-specific T cells appeared to expand from the CD4(+)CD25(-) T-cell pool. Their FOXP3 expression was stable, independent of the activation state and it correlated with suppressive function and inversely with the production of IFN-gamma, IL-6, IL-21 and IL-17. In contrast, the phenotype and function of FOXP3(low) MBP-specific T cells were adaptive and dependent on IL-6. The higher frequency of FOXP3(high) MBP-specific T cells was observed when IL-6 was neutralized in the culture of PBMC with MBP. The study provides new evidence that MBP-specific T cells are susceptible to pro-inflammatory cytokine milieu and act as either pro-inflammatory or regulatory T cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/intimm/dxp100DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2779831PMC
December 2009

Regulatory effects of IFN-beta on production of osteopontin and IL-17 by CD4+ T Cells in MS.

Eur J Immunol 2009 Sep;39(9):2525-36

Multiple Sclerosis Research Unit, Department of Neurology and Baylor Multiple Sclerosis Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

IFN-beta currently serves as one of the major treatments for MS. Its anti-inflammatory mechanism has been reported as involving a shift in cytokine balance from Th1 to Th2 in the T-cell response against elements of the myelin sheath. In addition to the Th1 and Th2 groups, two other important pro-inflammatory cytokines, IL-17 and osteopontin (OPN), are believed to play important roles in CNS inflammation in the pathogenesis of MS. In this study, we examined the potential effects of IFN-beta on the regulation of OPN and IL-17 in MS patients. We found that IFN-beta used in vitro at 0.5-3 ng/mL significantly inhibited the production of OPN in primary T cells derived from PBMC. The inhibition of OPN was determined to occur at the CD4(+) T-cell level. In addition, IFN-beta inhibited the production of IL-17 and IL-21 in CD4(+) T cells. It has been described that IFN-beta suppresses IL-17 production through the inhibition of a monocytic cytokine, the intracellular translational isoform of OPN. Our further investigation demonstrated that IFN-beta also acted directly on the CD4(+) T cells to regulate OPN and IL-17 expression through the type I IFN receptor-mediated activation of STAT1 and suppression of STAT3 activity. Administration of IFN-beta to EAE mice ameliorated the disease severity. Furthermore, spinal cord infiltration of OPN(+) and IL-17(+) cells decreased in IFN-beta-treated EAE mice along with decreases in serum levels of OPN and IL-21. Importantly, decreased OPN production by IFN-beta treatment contributes to the reduced migratory activity of T cells. Taken together, the results from both in vitro and in vivo experiments indicate that IFN-beta treatment can down-regulate the OPN and IL-17 production in MS. This study provides new insights into the mechanism of action of IFN-beta in the treatment of MS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eji.200838879DOI Listing
September 2009

Vaccination with selected synovial T cells in rheumatoid arthritis.

Arthritis Rheum 2007 Feb;56(2):453-63

Shanghai Institute of Immunology, JiaoTong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.

Objective: This pilot clinical study was undertaken to investigate the role of T cell vaccination in the induction of regulatory immune responses in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Methods: Autologous synovial T cells were selected for pathologic relevance, rendered inactive by irradiation, and used for vaccination. Fifteen patients received T cell vaccination via 6 subcutaneous inoculations over a period of 12 months.

Results: T cell vaccination led to induction of CD4+ Tregs and CD8+ cytotoxic T cells specific for T cell vaccine. There was selective expansion of CD4+,V(beta)2+ Tregs that produced interleukin-10 (IL-10) and expressed a high level of transcription factor Foxp3, which coincided with depletion of overexpressed BV14+ T cells in treated patients. CD4+ IL-10-secreting Tregs induced by T cell vaccination were found to react specifically with peptides derived from IL-2 receptor alpha-chain. The expression level of Foxp3 in CD4+ T cells and increased inhibitory activity of CD4+,CD25+ Tregs were significantly elevated following T cell vaccination. The observed regulatory immune responses collectively correlated with clinical improvement in treated patients. In an intent-to-treat analysis, a substantial response, defined as meeting the American College of Rheumatology 50% improvement criteria, was shown in 10 of the 15 patients (66.7%) and was accompanied by a marked improvement in RA-related laboratory parameters.

Conclusion: These findings suggest that T cell vaccination induces regulatory immune responses that are associated with improved clinical and laboratory variables in RA patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/art.22316DOI Listing
February 2007

Altered expression of vasoactive intestinal peptide receptors in T lymphocytes and aberrant Th1 immunity in multiple sclerosis.

Int Immunol 2006 Dec 31;18(12):1691-700. Epub 2006 Oct 31.

Department of Neurology, Baylor College of Medicine, Mail station NB302, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) has a unique property of regulating T(h)1 and T(h)2 immunity of CD4+ T cells. In this study, we demonstrated, for the first time, that differential expression of VIP receptors and a compensatory mechanism directly affect the responsiveness of CD4+ T cells and their T(h)1 and T(h)2 properties to VIP. The expression of VIP receptor-1 (VPAC1) and VPAC2 in CD4+ T cells changed reciprocally in the context of the activation state. In activated CD4+ T cells of healthy individuals, markedly decreased VPAC1 expression was compensated for by increased expression of VPAC2 induced by T cell activation. In contrast, there was altered expression of VPAC2 in activated CD4+ T cells derived from multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, which rendered CD4+ T cells less responsive to VIP and skewed the system to a predominantly in a T(h)1 direction. Detailed characterization with agonist peptides of VIP showed that residues Met and Ser at positions 17 and 25 of VIP were critical to its regulatory properties through interaction with VAPC2. Furthermore, altered levels of VPAC2 expression in T cells of MS patients were not associated with single-nucleotide polymorphism in the encoding region of the VPAC2 gene but with gene regulation as characterized by a distinct DNA footprinting pattern in the promoter region of the VPAC2 gene in MS as compared with controls. This study has provided new evidence for an intrinsic mechanism associated with an aberrant, pro-inflammatory state of CD4+ T cells in MS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/intimm/dxl103DOI Listing
December 2006

CD4+ regulatory T cell responses induced by T cell vaccination in patients with multiple sclerosis.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2006 Mar 17;103(13):5024-9. Epub 2006 Mar 17.

Department of Neurology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Immunization with irradiated autologous T cells (T cell vaccination) is shown to induce regulatory T cell responses that are poorly understood. In this study, CD4(+) regulatory T cell lines were generated from patients with multiple sclerosis that received immunization with irradiated autologous myelin basic protein-reactive T cells. The resulting CD4(+) regulatory T cell lines had marked inhibition on autologous myelin basic protein-reactive T cells and displayed two distinctive patterns distinguishable by the expression of transcription factor Foxp3 and cytokine profile. The majority of the T cell lines had high Foxp3 expression and secreted both IFN-gamma and IL-10 as compared with the other pattern characteristic of low Foxp3 expression and predominant production of IL-10 but not IFN-gamma. CD4(+) regulatory T cell lines of both patterns expressed CD25 and reacted with activated autologous T cells but not resting T cells, irrespective of antigen specificity of the target T cells. It was evident that they recognized preferentially a synthetic peptide corresponding to residues 61-73 of the IL-2 receptor alpha chain. T cell vaccination correlated with increased Foxp3 expression and T cell reactivity to peptide 61-73. The findings have important implications in the understanding of the role of CD4(+) regulatory T cell response induced by T cell vaccination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0508784103DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1458788PMC
March 2006

Regulation of differentiation and functional properties of monocytes and monocyte-derived dendritic cells by interferon beta in multiple sclerosis.

Mult Scler 2004 Oct;10(5):499-506

Multiple Sclerosis Research Unit, Department of Neurology and Baylor Multiple Sclerosis Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Interferon beta (IFN beta) has complex immune regulatory properties that contribute to its treatment effect on multiple sclerosis (MS). In this study, we investigated the role of IFN beta in differentiation and functional properties of monocytes and monocyte-derived dendritic cells that are critical to the inflammatory process in MS. The results revealed that IFN beta inhibited intracellular production of interleukin (IL)-1b (P<0.01) in both monocytes exposed to in vitro treatment of IFN beta and monocytes analysed ex vivo from MS patients treated with IFN beta. IFN beta was shown to modulate differentiation of monocytes into dendritic cells in the presence of IL-4 and GM-CSF, which resulted in a delayed differentiation process. Furthermore, it characteristically altered the phenotypic features of differentiated dendritic cells by inhibiting the expression of CD1a, CD11b, CD11c, CD123 and CD209 while upregulating costimulatory molecules, such as CD86. The selective regulatory properties of IFN beta appeared to render the function of differentiated dendritic cells to produce an increased amount (P<0.01) while their ability to secrete proinflammatory IL-12 and TGF beta was significantly reduced. The observed collective effects of IFN beta seemed to correlate with Th2 immune deviation. The study has provided new insights into the regulatory mechanisms of IFN beta in the treatment of MS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1191/1352458504ms1081oaDOI Listing
October 2004

Gene expression profiling of relevant biomarkers for treatment evaluation in multiple sclerosis.

J Neuroimmunol 2004 Jul;152(1-2):126-39

Department of Neurology and Baylor-Methodist Multiple Sclerosis Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is thought to correlate with an array of clinically relevant biomarkers produced during inflammatory process. In this study, a novel gene expression profiling technology was developed and characterized to quantitatively measure the expression profiles of 34 genes selected based on their role in inflammation and their susceptibility to regulation by current MS treatment agents, beta-interferon (IFN) and glatiramer acetate (GA). Potential clinical applications of the technology were evaluated by in vitro and ex vivo analyses in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) obtained from MS patients and controls. Interferon-inducible genes were universally up-regulated after in vitro treatment with beta-IFN while the expression of other selected genes encoding cytokines and molecules related to T cell trafficking, activation and apoptosis was variably affected. Beta-IFN and GA exhibited distinctive and characteristic regulatory effects on the expression of the selected genes. Similar regulatory properties of beta-IFN and GA were seen by ex vivo analysis of PBMC specimens in a self-paired study by comparing specific changes induced by beta-IFN or GA treatment in the same patients as well as in a group study by measuring specific profiles in treatment groups compared with an untreated group. Furthermore, the technology served as a simple and sensitive assay for detection of beta-IFN neutralizing antibody based on the blocking effect of serum antibodies on the known regulatory properties of beta-IFN on PBMC. The findings provide important information on the immunoregulatory properties of beta-IFN and GA and support potential clinical applications of this technology in detection of neutralizing antibody (NAB) and evaluation of treatment responses in MS patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jneuroim.2004.03.004DOI Listing
July 2004

Increased CD8+ cytotoxic T cell responses to myelin basic protein in multiple sclerosis.

J Immunol 2004 Apr;172(8):5120-7

Multiple Sclerosis Research Unit, Department of Neurology and Baylor Multiple Sclerosis Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Autoreactive T cells of CD4 and CD8 subsets recognizing myelin basic protein (MBP), a candidate myelin autoantigen, are thought to contribute to and play distinct roles in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS). In this study we identified four MBP-derived peptides that had high binding affinity to HLA-A2 and HLA-A24 and characterized the CD8(+) T cell responses and their functional properties in patients with MS. There were significantly increased CD8(+) T cell responses to 9-mer MBP peptides, in particular MBP(111-119) and MBP(87-95) peptides that had high binding affinity to HLA-A2, in patients with MS compared with healthy individuals. The resulting CD8(+) T cell lines were of the Th1 phenotype, producing TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma and belonged to a CD45RA(-)/CD45RO(+) memory T cell subset. Further characterization indicated that the CD8(+) T cell lines obtained were stained with MHC class I tetramer (HLA-A2/MBP(111-119)) and exhibited specific cytotoxicity toward autologous target cells pulsed with MBP-derived peptides in the context of MHC class I molecules. These cytotoxic CD8(+) T cell lines derived from MS patients recognized endogenously processed MBP and lysed COS cells transfected with genes encoding MBP and HLA-A2. These findings support the potential role of CD8(+) CTLs recognizing MBP in the injury of oligodendrocytes expressing both MHC class I molecules and MBP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.172.8.5120DOI Listing
April 2004

Ex vivo detection of myelin basic protein-reactive T cells in multiple sclerosis and controls using specific TCR oligonucleotide probes.

Eur J Immunol 2004 Mar;34(3):870-881

Department of Neurology and Baylor-Methodist Multiple Sclerosis Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, USA.

T cell reactivity to candidate myelin autoantigens, such as myelin basic protein (MBP), may play an important role in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS). Although MBP-reactive T cells have been found to undergo in vivo activation in patients with MS, their true precursor frequency in MS is unknown as current frequency analysis is commonly based on the T cell functional responses to MBP. In this study, we developed a TCR sequence-based ex vivo detection system using colony hybridization with oligonucleotide probes specific for CDR3 of selected T cell clones for the analysis of true T cell precursor frequency in PBMC. The results revealed that the precursor frequency of five independent T cell clones recognizing the immunodominant MBP(83-99) region was found to be in the range of 1.6 x 10(-4) in total T cells in three HLA-DR2 patients with MS compared to that of 0.25 x 10(-4) in HLA-DR2 healthy individuals. The observed frequency of MBP(83-99)-reactive T cells in MS patients was considerably higher than those measured in parallel by cell culture-based analysis (2.3 x 10(-6)) or by enzyme-linked immunospot assay (3.9 x 10(-5)) in the same peripheral blood mononuclear cell specimens. Furthermore, the study showed that MBP(83-99)-reactive T cells detected ex vivo belonged to CD45RA+, CD25+ and CD95- T cell subsets as evidenced by preferential expression of specific TCR transcripts in these cell fractions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eji.200324790DOI Listing
March 2004

Characteristics of T-cell receptor repertoire and myelin-reactive T cells reconstituted from autologous haematopoietic stem-cell grafts in multiple sclerosis.

Brain 2004 May 25;127(Pt 5):996-1008. Epub 2004 Feb 25.

Department of Neurology and Baylor Multiple Sclerosis Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.

Multiple sclerosis is thought to involve aberrant immune responses to myelin autoantigens. Haematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT) is in clinical trials for progressive multiple sclerosis based on the rationale that it destroys aberrant immune system, while recapitulation of lymphocyte ontogeny might alter the immune system and slow down disease progression. This study was undertaken to analyse characteristics of the T-cell receptor (TCR) repertoire, serum cytokine profile and the T-cell responses to myelin basic protein (MBP) in the reconstituted immune system in progressive multiple sclerosis. The study revealed that, following autologous HSCT, the T-cell immunity recovered in two distinctive phases. The first phase was characterized by limited T-cell immunity as a result of selective expansion of pre-existing T cells commonly expressing the TCR beta chain variable region (TCR BV) 20 and increased serum cytokine production during the first several months. The second phase of T-cell reconstitution coincided with increased thymic T-cell output 9-12 months after HSCT. T cells reconstituted from stem-cell grafts had the distinctive properties of comprehensive T-cell immunity and a broad TCR repertoire. T cells recognizing MBP were initially depleted by immunoablation and rapidly expanded from the reconstituted T-cell repertoire in 12 months. The reconstituted MBP-reactive T cells exhibited a broader epitope recognition repertoire while maintaining the same skewed reactivity pattern compared with that seen at baseline. The findings have important implications in the understanding of the role of HSCT as a potential treatment for multiple sclerosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awh117DOI Listing
May 2004

Blocking effects of serum reactive antibodies induced by glatiramer acetate treatment in multiple sclerosis.

Brain 2003 Dec 22;126(Pt 12):2638-47. Epub 2003 Aug 22.

Multiple Sclerosis Research Unit, Department of Neurology, Baylor-Methodist Multiple Sclerosis Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA.

Glatiramer acetate (GA) is a treatment option for multiple sclerosis. Although its mechanism of action remains unclear, evidence has emerged supporting the role of GA as an immunomodulatory drug that regulates T-cell function. It has been demonstrated that long-term GA treatment induces a serum antibody response; however, the functional properties of these 'reactive antibodies' are unknown. It has been speculated that GA-induced antibodies may have a blocking effect that can inhibit the immunologic activity of GA. This study was conducted to determine whether serum antibodies induced by GA treatment can block the in vitro immunoregulatory effects of GA on T-cell proliferation and cytokine production. Forty-two patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis who were treated with GA for 1-5 years were examined for GA antibody titres using enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay (ELISA). Thirty-three percent of patients developed high antibody titres [antibody binding index (ABI) = 16-64] and 14% had low antibody titres (ABI = 4) after 1 year on treatment. Results showed that purified GA antibodies blocked the stimulatory effects of GA on GA-specific T-cell lines of Th0 cytokine profile. The increase in interleukin-10 (IL-10) and IL-4 levels and the decrease in IL-12 and tumour necrosis factor-alpha levels, normally seen with GA stimulation, were reversed in the presence of GA antibodies. The study has important implications in our understanding of the potential role of high-titre GA antibodies in the treatment of multiple sclerosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awg269DOI Listing
December 2003

Human anti-idiotypic T cells induced by TCR peptides corresponding to a common CDR3 sequence motif in myelin basic protein-reactive T cells.

Int Immunol 2003 Sep;15(9):1073-80

Multiple Sclerosis Research Unit, Department of Neurology and Baylor-Methodist Multiple Sclerosis Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

T cells recognizing myelin basic protein (MBP) are potentially involved in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS). In vivo clonal expansion of MBP-reactive T cells in MS may relate in part to dysfunction of peripheral regulatory mechanisms, including the anti-idiotypic immune network. In this study, we examined anti-idiotypic immune responses and the functional properties of anti-idiotypic T cells in patients with MS and healthy controls using TCR peptides corresponding to a CDR3 sequence motif preferentially expressed among T cells recognizing the 83-99 immunodominant peptide of MBP in some patients with MS. The study demonstrated that anti-idiotypic T cells could be induced in vitro by 8mer and 15mer peptides containing the CDR3 motif in MS patients and healthy controls respectively. The estimated precursor frequency of the anti-idiotypic T cells was slightly reduced in MS patients compared to control subjects. The obtained anti-idiotypic T cells recognizing the 15mer TCR peptide were found to express the CD4 phenotype, produce predominantly IL-10 and inhibit the proliferation of autologous T cells recognizing the immunodominant peptide of MBP. Anti-idiotypic T cells induced by the 8mer TCR peptide were predominantly CD8+ cytotoxic T cells and exhibited cytotoxic activity against autologous MBP-specific T cells expressing the CDR3 sequence. When added in primary culture, both TCR peptides had a significant inhibitory effect on the T cell responses to the immunodominant peptide of MBP. The findings suggest that anti-idiotypic immune responses can be activated by selected TCR peptides and may play an important role in the in vivo regulation of MBP-reactive T cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/intimm/dxg105DOI Listing
September 2003

Effects of combination therapy of beta-interferon 1a and prednisone on serum immunologic markers in patients with multiple sclerosis.

Mult Scler 2003 Feb;9(1):28-31

Multiple Sclerosis Research Unit, Department of Neurology, Baylor-Methodist Multiple Sclerosis Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Beta-interferon (beta-IFN) has a proven treatment effect on relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS), presumably through its regulatory properties on T-cell activation and cytokine production. This paper examines whether combination therapy of beta-IFN with prednisone would enhance immunoregulatory effects of beta-IFN by measuring serum levels of selected proinflammatory cytokines and soluble T-cell activation markers associated with MS. The selected markers were analyzed in MS patients treated with beta-IFN alone (n = 22) and beta-IFN combined with a low daily dose of prednisone (n = 33), as compared with those in 27 healthy controls at baseline and at a three-month interval for one year. The study confirmed that beta-IFN treatment inhibited serum levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFalpha) and intracellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) in patients with MS. However, combination therapy did not significantly enhance the inhibitory effect of beta-IFN treatment on the production of TNFalpha, interleukin (IL)-12, IL-2R, and ICAM-1, while the addition of prednisone antagonized the effect of beta-IFN on up-regulation of IL-10 and soluble CD95. No difference in the occurrence of binding antibodies to beta-IFN was found between the two treatment groups. The findings are important for the understanding of the role of combination therapy in the treatment of MS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1191/1352458503ms865oaDOI Listing
February 2003

Cross-reactivity with myelin basic protein and human herpesvirus-6 in multiple sclerosis.

Ann Neurol 2003 Feb;53(2):189-97

Multiple Sclerosis Research Unit, Department of Neurology and Baylor Multiple Sclerosis Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Viral infections are though to play an important role in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS) potentially through molecular mimicry. An identical sequence was found in both myelin basic protein (MBP, residues 96-102), a candidate autoantigen for MS, and human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6 U24, residues 4-10) that is a suspected viral agent associated with MS. In this study, we showed that greater than 50% of T cells recognizing MBP(93-105) cross-reacted with and could be activated by a synthetic peptide corresponding to residues 1 to 13 of HHV-6 U24 in MS patients. The estimated precursor frequency of these cross-reactive T cells recognizing both peptides, MBP(93-105) and HHV-6 (U24)(1-13), was significantly elevated in MS patients compared with that in healthy controls. These cross-reactive CD4+ T cells represented the same Th1 phenotype as that of monospecific T cells recognizing MBP(93-105). There were increased antibody titers for both peptide HHV-6 (U24)(1-13) and peptide MBP(93-105) in the same patients with MS compared with those in healthy controls, suggesting B-cell sensitization to the antigens in MS patients. The study provides important evidence in the understanding of the potential role of HHV-6 infection/reactivation in the activation of autoimmune reactivity to MBP and its implication in the pathogenesis of MS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ana.10425DOI Listing
February 2003

Detection of viral DNA and immune responses to the human herpesvirus 6 101-kilodalton virion protein in patients with multiple sclerosis and in controls.

J Virol 2002 Jun;76(12):6147-54

Multiple Sclerosis Research Unit, Department of Neurology and Baylor-Methodist Multiple Sclerosis Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.

Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6), a latent lymphotropic and neurotropic virus, has been suspected as an etiologic agent in multiple sclerosis (MS). The study was undertaken to correlate virologic evidence for HHV-6 activity with the state of host immunity to HHV-6 in MS patients and control subjects. The study revealed that cell-free DNA of HHV-6 was detected more frequently in both serum and cerebrospinal fluid of MS patients than in those of control subjects. T cells recognizing the recombinant 101-kDa protein (101K) corresponding to the major immunoreactive region unique to HHV-6 occurred at significantly lower precursor frequency in MS patients than in control subjects. The resulting HHV-6-specific T-cell lines obtained from MS patients exhibited skewed cytokine profiles characterized by the inability to produce interleukin-4 (IL-4) and IL-10. The decreased T-cell responses to HHV-6 and the altered cytokine profile were consistent with significantly declined serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) titers for HHV-6 of MS patients compared to those of control subjects. In contrast, elevated serum IgM titers for HHV-6 were detected in the majority of MS patients, which may reflect frequent exposure of B cells to HHV-6. The findings suggest that the decreased immune responses to HHV-6 may be responsible for ineffective clearance of HHV-6 in MS patients.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC136216PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/jvi.76.12.6147-6154.2002DOI Listing
June 2002

T cell vaccination in multiple sclerosis: results of a preliminary study.

J Neurol 2002 Feb;249(2):212-8

Department of Immunology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Myelin basic protein (MBP)-reactive T cells are potentially involved in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS), and can be depleted by subcutaneous inoculations with irradiated autologous MBP-reactive T cells (T cell vaccination). This preliminary open label study was undertaken to evaluate whether depletion of MBP-reactive T cells would be clinically beneficial to patients with MS. Fifty-four patients with relapsing-remitting (RR) MS (n=28) or secondary progressive (SP) MS (n=26) were immunized with irradiated autologous MBP-reactive T cells and monitored for changes in rate of relapse, expanded disability scale score (EDSS) and MRI lesion activity over a period of 24 months. Depletion of MBP-reactive T cells correlated with a reduction (40%) in rate of relapse in RR-MS patients as compared with the pre-treatment rate in the same cohort. However, the reduction in EDSS was minimal in RR-MS patients while the EDSS was slightly increased in SP-MS patients over a period of 24 months. Serial semi-quantitative MRI examinations suggest stabilization in lesion activity as compared with baseline MRI. The findings suggest some potential clinical benefit of T cell vaccination in MS and encourage further investigations to evaluate the treatment efficacy of T cell vaccination in controlled trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/pl00007867DOI Listing
February 2002

Regulatory effects of estriol on T cell migration and cytokine profile: inhibition of transcription factor NF-kappa B.

J Neuroimmunol 2002 Mar;124(1-2):106-14

Multiple Sclerosis Research Unit, Baylor-Methodist Multiple Sclerosis Center and Department of Neurology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

The protective role of pregnancy in autoimmune conditions, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), is potentially associated with immune regulation by sex hormones produced during pregnancy. This study was undertaken to examine the regulatory effects of estriol on the T cell functions, including transmigration and the cytokine production. The results revealed for the first time that estriol significantly inhibited T cell transmigration at a concentration range typical of pregnancy, which correlated with decreased T cell expression of matrix metalloproteinase-9. Estriol was also found to alter the cytokine profile of T cells toward Th2 phenotype by up-regulating the production of IL-10 and inhibiting TNFalpha secretion of T cells. However, the inhibitory effects of estriol on T cells were not antigen-dependent. Further characterization indicated that estriol inhibited nuclear transcription factor kappa B (NF-kappa B), which controls a variety of immune-related genes. This study provides new evidence that estriol is a potent regulator for the T cell functions potentially through its interaction with the NF-kappa B signaling pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0165-5728(02)00016-4DOI Listing
March 2002