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Cell Immunol. 1991 Jul;135(2):354-9.

Experimental autoallergic sialadenitis in the LEW rat. III. Role of CD4+ T cells in EAS induction.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington 06030.


Experimental autoallergic sialadenitis (EAS) in the LEW rat is an induced autoimmune disease of the salivary tissues. EAS is characterized by a lymphocytic infiltration that consists of both CD4+ (helper/inducer T-cell subset) and CD8+ (cytotoxic/suppressor T-cell subset) T cells and results in the immune-mediated destruction of the exocrine salivary glands. To investigate the role that each of the T-cell subsets may have in the pathogenesis of EAS, LEW rats sensitized with WF SMG homogenate were injected with monoclonal antibodies to deplete or inactivate, in vivo, the CD4, CD5 (OX19; pan T lymphocyte), CD8, or RT6 (70% of peripheral T cells) T-cell populations. Treatment with the OX8 (CD8), OX19 (CD5), or W3/25 (CD4) only partially reduced in vivo the respective splenic or lymph node T-cell subsets when analyzed on Day 14, while treatment with DS4.23 (anti-RT6) resulted in greater than 95% depletion of RT6+ spleen and lymph node T cells. EAS incidence and severity was significantly reduced in the W3/25 (CD4) treatment group (11% incidence rate; histologic score 1.0) as compared to medium-injected controls (88% incidence rate; histologic score 2.9). Although the incidence and severity of EAS in the OX19 (71%; histologic score 1.7), OX8 (55%; histologic score 1.7), and RT6 (67%; histologic score 1.6) treatment groups appeared decreased, the reduction was not statistically significant. These results provide evidence that CD4+ T cells have an important role in EAS induction and demonstrate that in vivo treatment with anti-CD4 can ameliorate and/or prevent EAS in the LEW rat.

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