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Exp Neurol. 2000 May;163(1):165-72.

Enhancement of acute phase and inhibition of chronic phase of experimental autoimmune neuritis in Lewis rats by intranasal administration of recombinant mouse interleukin 17: potential immunoregulatory role.

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Division of Geriatric Medicine, Huddinge University Hospital, Stockholm, S-141 86, Sweden.


Experimental autoimmune neuritis (EAN) is a CD4(+) T-cell-mediated demyelinating disease of the peripheral nervous system (PNS). We examined the effect of recombinant mouse interleukin 17 (rmIL-17) on chronic EAN induced in Lewis rats by inoculation of P2 57-81 peptide in Freund's complete adjuvant. Animals were treated nasally for 6 days with either 0.1 or 0.9 microg/rat/day rmIL-17 from the onset of neurological signs, i.e., days 9 to 14 postimmunization (p.i.). Prolonged follow-up demonstrated a chronic course in control and rmIL-17-treated rats. Treated rats had more severe disease initially (days 18-36 p.i.) with a stronger enhancing effect observed with the higher rmIL-17 dose. At day 19 rmIL-17-treated rats showed increased infiltration of inflammatory cells into the sciatic nerve, more severe demyelination, augmented proliferation of regional lymph node cells, and increased serum levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha. After the initial phase of disease enhancement the IL-17-treated EAN rats improved gradually and ultimately recovered completely, whereas the control EAN rats remained affected until the end of the observation (day 120 p.i.). The lower dose of rmIL-17 induced an earlier recovery from clinical deficits than the higher one. The results indicate that IL-17 plays an immunoregulatory role in chronic EAN which could have implications for immunomodulatory treatments of chronic autoimmune disease of the PNS.

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