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Antibody blockade of CLEC12A delays EAE onset and attenuates disease severity by impairing myeloid cell CNS infiltration and restoring positive immunity

Sagar, D;Singh, NP;Ginwala, R;Huang, X;Philip, R;Nagarkatti, M;Nagarkatti, P;Neumann, K;Ruland, J;Andrews, AM;Ramirez, SH;Khan, ZK;Jain, P;

The mechanism of dendritic cells (DCs) recruitment across the blood brain barrier (BBB) during neuroinflammation has been the least explored amongst all leukocytes. For cells of myeloid origin, while integrins function at the level of adhesion, the importance of lectins remains unknown. Here, we identified functions of one C-type lectin receptor, CLEC12A, in facilitating DC binding and transmigration across the BBB in response to CCL2 chemotaxis. To test function of CLEC12A in an animal model of multiple sclerosis (MS), we administered blocking antibody to CLEC12A that significantly ameliorated disease scores in MOG35-55-induced progressive, as well as PLP138-151-induced relapsing-remitting experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) mice. The decline in both progression and relapse of EAE occurred as a result of reduced demyelination and myeloid cell infiltration into the CNS tissue. DC numbers were restored in the spleen of C57BL/6 and peripheral blood of SJL/J mice along with a decreased TH17 phenotype within CD4(+) T-cells. The effects of CLEC12A blocking were further validated using CLEC12A knockout (KO) animals wherein EAE disease induction was delayed and reduced disease severity was observed. These studies reveal the utility of a DC-specific mechanism in designing new therapeutics for MS.