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Transient cellular expression of gamma-interferon in myelin-induced and T-cell line-mediated experimental autoimmune neuritis.
Schmidt, B
Stoll, G
van der Meide, P
Jung, S
Hartung, H P
Brain : a journal of neurology 1992 Dec;115 ( Pt 6): 1633-46

This study reports the cellular localization of gamma-interferon (gamma-IFN) in nerve roots during the course of experimental autoimmune neuritis induced either by active immunization (EAN) or adoptive transfer of P2-specific T-cells (AT-EAN). One micrometre thick cryosections of ventral roots of EAN and AT-EAN animals were labelled with the monoclonal antibodies DB-1 and DB-12 recognizing different epitopes of rat gamma-IFN. In EAN numerous gamma-IFN-positive cells were present before overt clinical signs and demyelination (days 11-13 after immunization). Concomitantly, raised gamma-IFN levels were measured in the serum of these animals. However, systemically increased gamma-IFN serum levels were not specific for a neuritogenic T-cell response. At subsequent stages when many axons were demyelinated (day 16 and later) gamma-IFN-positive cells had disappeared and gamma-IFN serum levels returned to normal value. gamma-Interferon positive cells could be identified as W3/13 positive T-cells and polymorphonuclear leukocytes. Additionally, a considerable number of ED1-positive macrophages showed gamma-IFN immunoreactivity. The majority of macrophages and all Schwann cells were gamma-IFN negative. Similar results were obtained in AT-EAN 4 d and 6 d following cell transfer. After nerve transection no gamma-IFN-positive cells were found in the distal stumps. The localization of gamma-IFN in nerve roots indicates an important role of this lymphokine in acute immune-mediated demyelination. gamma-Interferon most likely locally affects macrophage functions such as migration, major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II antigen (Ia) expression, and production of cytotoxic molecules in nerves, and thereby contributes to myelin damage.

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