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J Neuroimmunol. 1992 Dec;41(2):231-8.

Differential expression of heat shock proteins by human glial cells.

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Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, McGill University, Montreal Neurological Institute, Qu├ębec, Canada.


Heat shock proteins (HSP) have been implicated in the interactions between the gamma delta T lymphocyte population and target tissues. gamma delta T cells are found in increased numbers in multiple sclerosis (MS) plaques compared to their proportion in peripheral blood, co-localizing with oligodendrocytes (OGC) expressing HSP. We have demonstrated that such gamma delta T cells can induce in vitro lysis of human adult-derived OGC. Using immunohistochemical and flow cytometry techniques, we examined the constitutive and/or inducible expression of HSP in or on adult human-derived glial cell cultures in vitro. HSP70 was expressed in OGC maintained at basal temperature, but the expression of the inducible HSP70 protein was upregulated by a prior 43 degrees C heat exposure. HSP70 could not be detected within astrocytes (GFAP+ cells), whether heat stress was applied or not. Constitutive expression of HSP60 could be discerned on the surface of all OGC under non-stressed culture conditions. Only some astrocytes demonstrated minor punctate surface HSP60 staining, whereas the remainder did not express HSP60 constitutively. These observations raise the possibility that OGC, by virtue of their differential expression of HSP compared to other glial cells, may be particularly prone to interaction with HSP-reactive gamma delta T cells. Such findings may further implicate gamma delta T cells in the pathogenesis of MS, a putative autoimmune disease in which immune-mediated injury is directed specifically against the oligodendrocyte-myelin unit within the central nervous system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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