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Neuroantigen-specific autoregulatory CD8+ T cells inhibit autoimmune demyelination through modulation of dendritic cell function

Kashi, VP;Ortega, SB;Karandikar, NJ;

Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is a well-established murine model of multiple sclerosis, an immune-mediated demyelinating disorder of the central nervous system (CNS). We have previously shown that CNS-specific CD8+ T cells (CNS-CD8+) ameliorate EAE, at least in part through modulation of CNS-specific CD4+ T cell responses. In this study, we show that CNS-CD8+ also modulate the function of CD11c+ dendritic cells (DC), but not other APCs such as CD11b+ monocytes or B220+ B cells. DC from mice receiving either myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein-specific CD8+ (MOG-CD8+) or proteolipid protein-specific CD8+ (PLP-CD8+) T cells were rendered inefficient in priming T cell responses from nave CD4+ T cells (OT-II) or supporting recall responses from CNS-specific CD4+ T cells. CNS-CD8+ did not alter DC subset distribution or MHC class II and CD86 expression, suggesting that DC maturation was not affected. However, the cytokine profile of DC from CNS-CD8+ recipients showed lower IL-12 and higher IL-10 production. These functions were not modulated in the absence of immunization with CD8-cognate antigen, suggesting an antigen-specific mechanism likely requiring CNS-CD8-DC interaction. Interestingly, blockade of IL-10 in vitro rescued CD4+ proliferation and in vivo expression of IL-10 was necessary for the suppression of EAE by MOG-CD8+. These studies demonstrate a complex interplay between CNS-specific CD8+ T cells, DC and pathogenic CD4+ T cells, with important implications for therapeutic interventions in this disease.