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Glucan particles as a novel adjuvant for the induction of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis

Huizar, C;Ji, N;Reddick, R;Ostroff, G;Forsthuber, T;

For over 70 years experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) has been induced with myelin autoantigens emulsified in complete Freund’s adjuvant (CFA) which has significant side effects such as pain, inflammation, and tissue necrosis at the injection site. β-1,3-d-glucan particles (GPs) are hollow microcapsules prepared from Saccharomyces cerevisiae cell walls that induce potent Th17 cell responses without causing strong injection site tissue reactions. We evaluated the potential of GPs complexed with neuroantigens to induce EAE while avoiding undesirable side effects. GPs loaded with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein 35–55 (MOG35–55) or proteolipid protein 139–151 (PLP139–151) peptides effectively induced EAE in C57BL/6 mice and SJL mice. Disease severity, CNS pathology and immune responses were comparable between GP- and CFA-immunized mice. Importantly, injection with GPs resulted in significantly decreased inflammation compared with CFA. We posit that use of GPs provides an alternative means for inducing EAE that results in comparable disease, but less discomfort to animals.