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J Neuroimmunol. 2001 Apr 2;115(1-2):111-7.

Cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4) blockade enhances incidence and severity of experimental autoimmune neuritis in resistant mice.

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  • 1Division of Geriatric Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden. Jie.zhu@neurotec.ki.se


Experimental autoimmune neuritis (EAN), an autoimmune inflammatory demyelinating disease of the peripheral nervous system, represents an animal model of the human Guillain-Barré syndrome. EAN can be induced by active immunization in several animals, including Lewis rats. In contrast, most strains of mice including the widely used C57BL/6 (B6) strain are reputedly resistant to the induction of EAN. In the present study, we demonstrate that in B6 mice, anti-CTLA-4 monoclonal antibody administration in conjunction with immunization with the P0 protein derived peptide 180-199 can induce clinical and pathological definite EAN. Upregulating effects of CTLA-4 blockade on initial and ongoing EAN are demonstrated. CTLA-4 blockade augmented cellular infiltration and enhanced demyelination in the target organ sciatic nerves as well as increased T cell proliferation in lymph node cells. Moreover, serum levels of IFN-gamma and IL-4 were increased. Thus, manipulation of CTLA-4/B7 costimulatory pathway by CTLA-4 blockade can promote autoreactivity and break the relative tolerance to peripheral autoantigen P0 in resistant B6 mice.

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