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Estrogen induces multiple regulatory B cell subtypes and promotes M2 microglia and neuroprotection during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis

Benedek, G;Zhang, J;Bodhankar, S;Nguyen, H;Kent, G;Jordan, K;Manning, D;Vandenbark, AA;Offner, H;

Sex hormones promote immunoregulatory effects on multiple sclerosis. The current study evaluated estrogen effects on regulatory B cells and resident CNS microglia during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Herein, we demonstrate an estrogen-dependent induction of multiple regulatory B cell markers indicative of IL-10 dependent as well as IFN- dependent pathways. Moreover, although estrogen pretreatment of EAE mice inhibited the infiltration of pro-inflammatory cells into the CNS, it enhanced the frequency of regulatory B cells and M2 microglia. Our study suggests that estrogen has a broad effect on the development of regulatory B cells during EAE, which in turn could promote neuroprotection.