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Chiou, HC;Huang, SH;Hung, CH;Tsai, SM;Kuo, HR;Huang, YR;Wang, JW;Chen, SC;Kuo, CH;Wu, DC;Huang, SK;Hsu, SH;Lin, MH;
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune disease mainly caused by autoreactive T cells, followed by neuronal demyelination and disabling paralysis. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is usually an adjunct to therapy for the treatment of neurological disorders. However, it remains still controversial whether HBOT is an effective option for the treatment of MS. Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is a well-studied mouse model investigated for the MS pathogenesis and the efficacy of the therapeutic intervention. Both encephalitogenic Th1 and Th17 are pivotal T cell subsets immunopathogenically producing several disease-initiating/modifying cytokines in the central nervous system (CNS) lesions to further exacerbate/ameliorate the progression of EAE or MS. However, it remains unclear whether HBOT modulates the context of T helper cell subsets in CNS lesions. We employed EAE in the presence of HBOT to assess whether disease amelioration is attributed to alterations of CNS-infiltrating T cell subsets. Our results demonstrated that semi-therapeutic HBOT significantly alleviated the progression of EAE, at least, via the suppression of Th17 response, the downregulation of CD4 T helper cells expressing GM-CSF or TNF-?, and the boosting of immunomodulatory IL-4 or IL-10-expressed CD4 T cells in the CNS lesions. Conclusively, HBOT attenuated EAE through the modulation of T cell responses in an earlier stage.