Journal Of Multiple Sclerosis (Foster City)
Most of the current therapies used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) are either ineffective or have adverse side effects. As such, there is a need to develop better therapies that specifically target myelin-specific aberrant immune cells involved in CNS inflammation without compromising the general immune system. In the present study, we developed a new bifunctional peptide inhibitor (BPI) that is effective and specific. Our BPI (PLP-B7AP) is composed of an antigenic peptide from myelin proteolipid protein (PLP139-151) and a B7 antisense peptide (B7AP) derived from CD28 receptor. The main hypothesis is that PLP-B7AP simultaneously targets MHC-II and B7-costimulatory molecules on the surface of antigen presenting cells (APC) and possibly alters the differentiation of nave T cells from inflammatory to regulatory phenotypes. Results showed that PLP-B7AP was very effective in suppressing experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) compared to various controls in a mouse model. PLP-B7AP was effective when administered both before and after disease induction. Secreted cytokines from splenocytes isolated during periods of high disease severity and remission indicated that PLP-B7AP treatment induced an increased production of anti-inflammatory cytokines and inhibited the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Further, analysis of cortical brain tissue sections showed that PLP-B7AP treated mice had significantly lower demyelination compared to the control group. All these taken together indicate that the T cell receptor (TCR) and the CD28 receptor can be targeted simultaneously to improve efficacy and specificity of potential MS therapeutics.