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Spermidine alleviates experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis through inducing inhibitory macrophages

Yang, Q;Zheng, C;Cao, J;Cao, G;Shou, P;Lin, L;Velletri, T;Jiang, M;Chen, Q;Han, Y;Li, F;Wang, Y;Cao, W;Shi, Y;

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic and debilitating autoimmune disease, characterized by chronic inflammatory demyelination in the nervous tissue and subsequent neurological dysfunction. Spermidine, a natural polyamine, has been shown to affect inflammation in some experimental models. We show here that spermidine could alleviate experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a model for MS, through regulating the infiltration of CD4(+) T cells and macrophages in central nervous system. Unexpectedly, we found that spermidine treatment of MOG-specific T cells did not affect their pathogenic potency upon adaptive transfer; however, spermidine diminished the ability of macrophages in activating MOG-specific T cells ex vivo. Depletion of macrophages in diseased mice completely abolished the therapeutic effect of spermidine, indicating a critical role of spermidine-activated macrophages. Mechanistically, spermidine was found to specifically suppress the expression of interleukin-1beta (IL-1), IL-12 and CD80 while enhance the expression of arginase 1 in macrophages. Interestingly, macrophages from spermidine-treated mice could also reverse EAE progression, while pretreatment of those macrophages with the arginase 1 inhibitor abrogated the therapeutic effect. Therefore, our studies revealed a critical role of macrophages in spermidine-mediated treatment on EAE and provided novel information for better management of MS.Cell Death and Differentiation advance online publication, 22 July 2016; doi:10.1038/cdd.2016.71.