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J Immunol. 2010 Sep 1;185(5):2701-9. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1000385. Epub 2010 Aug 4.

Mice producing less reactive oxygen species are relatively resistant to collagen glycopeptide vaccination against arthritis.

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  • 1Division of Medical Inflammation Research, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.


The bottleneck for the induction of collagen-induced arthritis in mice is the recognition of immunodominant type II collagen (CII) peptide (CII259-273) bound to the MHC class II molecule A(q). We have shown previously that the posttranslationally glycosylated lysine at position 264 in this epitope is of great importance for T cell recognition and tolerance induction to CII as well as for arthritis development. The Ncf1 gene, controlling oxidative burst, has been shown to play an important role for immune tolerance to CII. To investigate the effect of oxidation on the efficiency of immune-specific vaccination with MHC class II/glycosylated-CII peptide complexes, we used Ncf1 mutated mice. We demonstrate that normal reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels contribute to the establishment of tolerance and arthritis protection, because only mice with a functional oxidative burst were completely protected from arthritis after administration of the glycosylated CII259-273 peptide in complex with MHC class II. Transfer of T cells from vaccinated mice with functional Ncf1 protein resulted in strong suppression of clinical signs of arthritis in B10.Q mice, whereas the Ncf1 mutated mice as recipients had a weaker suppressive effect, suggesting that ROS modified the secondary rather than the primary immune response. A milder but still significant effect was also observed in ROS deficient mice. During the primary vaccination response, regulatory T cells, upregulation of negative costimulatory molecules, and increased production of anti-inflammatory versus proinflammatory cytokines in both Ncf1 mutated and wild type B10.Q mice was observed, which could explain the vaccination effect independent of ROS.

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