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Clin Exp Immunol. 2000 Dec;122(3):437-44.

Autoantigen-pulsed dendritic cells induce tolerance to experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) in Lewis rats.

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Experimental Neurology and Neuroimmunology Units, Division of Neurology, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.


Dendritic cells (DC) can modulate the nature of immune responses in a stimulatory or tolerogenic fashion. Great attention has been given to the induction of immunity to tumour and infection. In this study, bone marrow-derived DC from healthy Lewis rats were pulsed in vitro with encephalitogenic myelin basic protein peptide 68-86 (MBP 68-86), and injected subcutaneously (1 x 106/rat) into normal Lewis rats. Upon observation of the rats pretreated in this way for 4 weeks, when no clinical signs of EAE occurred, these rats were immunized with MBP 68-86 and Freund's complete adjuvant. The pretreated rats failed to develop clinical EAE. This tolerance was associated with augmented proliferative responses, interferon-gamma secretion, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression and NO production. The frequency of apoptotic cells was increased in the rats receiving MBP 68-86-pulsed DC compared with unpulsed control DC. Few infiltrating inflammatory cells were observed in spinal cord sections from rats that had received MBP 68-86-pulsed DC. The data are compatible with the interpretation that MBP 68-86-pulsed DC induce tolerance to EAE possibly through up-regulation of iNOS expression and NO production, which mediate cell apoptosis, thereby reducing infiltration of inflammatory cells within the central nervous system.

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