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Loss of HDAC11 ameliorates clinical symptoms in a multiple sclerosis mouse model

Sun, L;Telles, E;Karl, M;Cheng, F;Luetteke, N;Sotomayor, E;Miller, R;Seto, E;

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, immune-mediated, demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS). There is no known cure for MS, and currently available drugs for managing this disease are only effective early on and have many adverse side effects. Results from recent studies suggest that histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors may be useful for the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases such as MS. However, the underlying mechanisms by which HDACs influence immune-mediated diseases such as MS are unclear. More importantly, the question of which specific HDAC(s) are suitable drug targets for the potential treatment of MS remains unanswered. Here, we investigate the functional role of HDAC11 in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, a mouse model for MS. Our results indicate that the loss of HDAC11 in KO mice significantly reduces clinical severity and demyelination of the spinal cord in the post-acute phase of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. The absence of HDAC11 leads to reduced immune cell infiltration into the CNS and decreased monocytes and myeloid DCs in the chronic progressive phase of the disease. Mechanistically, HDAC11 controls the expression of the pro-inflammatory chemokine CC motif ligand 2 (CCL2) gene by enabling the binding of PU.1 transcription factor to the CCL2 promoter. Our results reveal a novel pathophysiological function for HDAC11 in CNS demyelinating diseases, and warrant further investigations into the potential use of HDAC11-specific inhibitors for the treatment of chronic progressive MS.