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Nat Immunol. 2006 Sep;7(9):954-61. Epub 2006 Aug 6.

Inhibition of transcription factor NF-kappaB in the central nervous system ameliorates autoimmune encephalomyelitis in mice.

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European Molecular Biology Laboratory Mouse Biology Unit, I-00016 Monterotondo, Italy.


Activation of transcription factor NF-kappaB in the central nervous system (CNS) has been linked to autoimmune demyelinating disease; however, it remains unclear whether its function is protective or pathogenic. Here we show that CNS-restricted ablation of 'upstream' NF-kappaB activators NEMO or IKK2 but not IKK1 ameliorated disease pathology in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis, suggesting that 'canonical' NF-kappaB activation in cells of the CNS has a mainly pathogenic function in autoimmune demyelinating disease. NF-kappaB inhibition prevented the expression of proinflammatory cytokines, chemokines and the adhesion molecule VCAM-1 from CNS-resident cells. Thus, NF-kappaB-dependent gene expression in non-microglial cells of the CNS provides a permissive proinflammatory milieu that is critical for CNS inflammation and tissue damage in autoimmune demyelinating disease.

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