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Cytokine. 2004 Jan 21;25(2):45-51.

Opposing roles for TGF-beta1 and TGF-beta3 isoforms in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.

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Department of Neurology, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR 97201, USA.


Hormones can exert significant protective effects on autoimmune diseases by activating immunoregulatory mechanisms. One of the possible mechanisms of hormonal protection might be through the anti-inflammatory effects of the TGF-beta molecule. The present study investigated the changes in expression of two TGF-beta isoforms, TGF-beta1 and TGF-beta3, in C57BL/6 and TCR transgenic (T/R+) B10.PL mice that manifested or were protected against clinical signs of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) with 17beta-estradiol (E2) treatment. We here demonstrate an inverse relationship between expression of TGF-beta1 that is enhanced in mice with EAE, and TGF-beta3 that is enhanced in E2-protected mice. The differential expression of TGF-beta isoforms was observed in spinal cord tissue but not spleen. Additionally TGF-beta1 expression was evident both in whole spinal cord tissue and mononuclear cells isolated from inflamed tissue, in contrast to TGF-beta3 that was only detected in spinal cord tissue but not in mononuclear cells. Further studies revealed that CD3 and especially MAC-1 positive cells were the main source of TGF-beta1 in the mononuclear CNS population. Of crucial importance, the TGF-beta3 isoform displayed anti-proliferative properties towards encephalitogenic cells in vitro. We propose that the TGF-beta1 and TGF-beta3 isoforms play opposing roles in the expression of EAE.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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