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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Feb 10;106(6):1920-5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0808909106. Epub 2009 Jan 28.

Beta1 integrins differentially control extravasation of inflammatory cell subsets into the CNS during autoimmunity.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Medicine, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, 82152 Martinsried, Germany.

Abstract

Inhibiting the alpha(4) subunit of the integrin heterodimers alpha(4)beta(1) and alpha(4)beta(7) with the monoclonal antibody natalizumab is an effective treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS). However, the pharmacological action of natalizumab is not understood conclusively. Previous studies suggested that natalizumab inhibits activation, proliferation, or extravasation of inflammatory cells. To specify which mechanisms, cell types, and alpha(4) heterodimers are affected by the antibody treatment, we studied MS-like experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in mice lacking the beta(1)-integrin gene either in all hematopoietic cells or selectively in T lymphocytes. Our results show that T cells critically rely on beta(1) integrins to accumulate in the central nervous system (CNS) during EAE, whereas CNS infiltration of beta(1)-deficient myeloid cells remains unaffected, suggesting that T cells are the main target of anti-alpha(4)-antibody blockade. We demonstrate that beta(1)-integrin expression on encephalitogenic T cells is critical for EAE development, and we therefore exclude alpha(4)beta(7) as a target integrin of the antibody treatment. T cells lacking beta(1) integrin are unable to firmly adhere to CNS endothelium in vivo, whereas their priming and expansion remain unaffected. Collectively, these results suggest that the primary action of natalizumab is interference with T cell extravasation via inhibition of alpha(4)beta(1) integrins.

PMID:
19179279
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2644139
Free PMC Article
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