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Characterization of myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG)35-55-specific CD8+ T cells in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis

Peng, Y;Zhu, FZ;Chen, ZX;Zhou, JX;Gan, L;Yang, SS;Gao, S;Liu, QQ;

The pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS) is mediated primarily by T cells, but most studies of MS and its animal model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), have focused on CD4 T cells. The aims of the current study were to determine the pathological interrelationship between CD4 and CD8 autoreactive T cells in MS/EAE. Female C57BL/6 mice (n=20) were induced by myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG)35-55 peptide. At 14 days after immunization, T cells were isolated from the spleen and purified as CD4 and CD8 T cells by using CD4 and CD8 isolation kits, and then the purity was determined by flow cytometric analysis. These cells were stimulated by MOG35-55 peptide and applied to proliferation assays. The interferon-gamma (IFN-) and interleukin (IL)-4 secretion of supernatant of cultured CD4 and CD8 T cells were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). For adoptive transfer, recipient mice were injected with MOG35-55-specific CD8 or CD4 T cells. EAE clinical course was measured by EAE score at 0-5 scale and spinal cord was examined by staining with hematoxylin and eosin and Luxol fast blue staining. CD8CD3 and CD4CD3 cells were 86% and 94% pure of total CD3 cells after CD8/CD4 bead enrichment, respectively. These cells were stimulated by MOG35-55 peptide and applied to proliferation assays. Although the CD8 T cells had a generally lower response to MOG35-55 than CD4 T cells, the response of CD8 T cells was not always dependent on CD4. CD8 T cell secreted less IFN- and IL-4 compared with CD4 T cells. EAE was induced in wildtype B6 nave mice by adoptive transfer of MOG35-55-specific T cells from B6 active-induced EAE (aEAE) mice. A similar EAE score and slight inflammation and demyelination were found in naive B6 mice after transferring of CD8 T cells from immunized B6 mice compared with transfer of CD4 T cells. Our data suggest that CD8 autoreactive T cells in EAE have a lower encephalitogenic function but are unique and independent on pathogenic of EAE rather than their CD4 counterparts.