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Chondroitin 6-O-sulfate ameliorates experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis

Miyamoto, K;Tanaka, N;Moriguchi, K;Ueno, R;Kadomatsu, K;Kitagawa, H;Kusunoki, S;

Chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) are the main component of the extracellular matrix in the central nervous system (CNS) and influence neuroplasticity. Although CSPG is considered an inhibitory factor for nerve repair in spinal cord injury, it is unclear whether CSPG influences the pathogenetic mechanisms of neuroimmunological diseases. We induced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in chondroitin 6-O-sulfate transferase 1-deficient (C6st1(-/-)) mice. C6ST1 is the enzyme that transfers sulfate residues to position 6 of N-acetylgalactosamine in the sugar chain of CSPG. The phenotypes of EAE in C6st1(-/-) mice were more severe than those in wild-type (WT) mice were. In adoptive-transfer EAE, in which antigen-reactive T cells from WT mice were transferred to C6st1(-/-) and WT mice, phenotypes were significantly more severe in C6st1(-/-) than in WT mice. The recall response of antigen-reactive T cells was not significantly different among the groups. Furthermore, the number of pathogenic T cells within the CNS was also not considerably different. When EAE was induced in C6ST1 transgenic mice with C6ST1 overexpression, the mice showed considerably milder symptoms compared with those in WT mice. In conclusion, the presence of sulfate at position 6 of N-acetylgalactosamine of CSPG may influence the effecter phase of EAE to prevent the progression of pathogenesis. Thus, modification of the carbohydrate residue of CSPG may be a novel therapeutic strategy for neuroimmunological diseases such as multiple sclerosis.