Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Mar 11;105(10):3915-20. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0709592105. Epub 2008 Mar 4.

Inhibition of midkine alleviates experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis through the expansion of regulatory T cell population.

Author information

Department of Neuroimmunology, Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan.


CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T (Treg) cells are crucial mediators of autoimmune tolerance. The factors that regulate Treg cells, however, are largely unknown. Here, we show that deficiency in midkine (MK), a heparin-binding growth factor involved in oncogenesis, inflammation, and tissue repair, attenuated experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) because of an expansion of the Treg cell population in peripheral lymph nodes and decreased numbers of autoreactive T-helper type 1 (T(H)1) and T(H)17 cells. MK decreased the Treg cell population ex vivo in a dose-dependent manner by suppression of STAT5 phosphorylation that is essential for Foxp3 expression. Moreover, administration of anti-MK RNA aptamers significantly expanded the Treg cell population and alleviated EAE symptoms. These observations indicate that MK serves as a critical suppressor of Treg cell expansion, and inhibition of MK using RNA aptamers may provide an effective therapeutic strategy against autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center