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J Neurosci. 2012 Jun 13;32(24):8284-92. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0841-12.2012.

IL-17-induced Act1-mediated signaling is critical for cuprizone-induced demyelination.

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Department of Immunology, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio 44195, and Genentech Inc., South San Francisco, California 94080, USA.


Cuprizone inhibits mitochondrial function and induces demyelination in the corpus callosum, which resembles pattern III lesions in multiple sclerosis patients. However, the molecular and cellular mechanism by which cuprizone induces demyelination remains unclear. Interleukin-17 (IL-17) secreted by T helper 17 cells and γδT cells are essential in the development of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. In this study, we examined the importance of IL-17 signaling in cuprizone-induced demyelination. We found that mice deficient in IL-17A, IL-17 receptor C (IL-17RC), and adaptor protein Act1 (of IL-17R) all had reduced demyelination accompanied by lessened microglial and polydendrocyte cellular reactivity compared with that in wild-type mice in response to cuprizone feeding, demonstrating the essential role of IL-17-induced Act1-mediated signaling in cuprizone-induced demyelination. Importantly, specific deletion of Act1 in astrocytes reduced the severity of tissue injury in this model, indicating the critical role of CNS resident cells in the pathogenesis of cuprizone-induced demyelination. In cuprizone-fed mice, IL-17 was produced by CNS CD3(+) T cells, suggesting a source of IL-17 in CNS upon cuprizone treatment.

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