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Int Immunol. 2006 Apr;18(4):495-503. Epub 2006 Mar 15.

Recovery from experimental allergic encephalomyelitis is TGF-beta dependent and associated with increases in CD4+LAP+ and CD4+CD25+ T cells.

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Center for Neurologic Diseases, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.


SJL mice are highly susceptible to proteolipid protein (PLP) 139-151-induced experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE). The disease is characterized by a relapsing-remitting type of paralysis. However, the mechanism by which animals recover from EAE is poorly understood. Here, we investigated the role of regulatory T cells in the recovery from disease. We found that Forkhead box P3-expressing CD4+CD25+ T cells were increased in the blood, draining lymph node and spleen of EAE-recovered SJL mice. These cells were anergic and inhibited proliferation of CD4+CD25- T cells to PLP 139-151 or anti-CD3 antibody stimulation. Depletion of CD4+CD25+ T cells during the recovery phase exacerbated disease, resulted in the expansion of IA(s)/PLP 139-151-tetramer-positive cells and enhanced IFN-gamma production. In addition, transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) was shown to be involved in the recovery from EAE as the percentage of CD4+ cells expressing TGF-beta latency-associated peptide (LAP) on the cell surface increased significantly in blood and spleen of EAE-recovered mice as compared with the naive mice and in vivo neutralization of TGF-beta abolished recovery from disease. Taken together, our results demonstrate that both CD4+CD25+ and CD4+LAP+ regulatory T cells mediate recovery from PLP 139-151-induced EAE in SJL mice in which TGF-beta plays an important role.

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