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J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 1998 May;57(5):385-95.

Sequential expression of transforming growth factor-beta1 by T-cells, macrophages, and microglia in rat spinal cord during autoimmune inflammation.

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Department of Neurology, University of W├╝rzburg, Germany.


Transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1) is crucially involved in regulating inflammatory events during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model for multiple sclerosis. Despite accumulating evidence for local expression of TGF-beta1 in the inflamed nervous system, uncertainty remains regarding its cellular source. We have investigated the temporospatial distribution of TGF-beta1 gene expression in rat spinal cord during EAE. In actively induced EAE, in situ hybridization revealed strong expression of TGF-beta1 in meningeal and perivascular mononuclear infiltrates at onset of the disease, continued expression in perivascular infiltrates and scattered mononuclear cells at maximal disease severity, and expression in scattered parenchymal cells during recovery. Double labeling studies revealed subpopulations of infiltrating T-cells to be the major source of TGF-beta1 early in the disease, followed by macrophages at peak severity and microglial cells during the recovery phase of EAE. Astrocytes and neurons did not express TGF-beta1. Quantification of mRNA by Northern blot analysis revealed that cellular expression of TGF-beta1 by T-cells, macrophages, and microglia sums up to a long-lasting elevation of TGF-beta1 mRNA extending well into the recovery phase. Our data indicate cellular diversity and suggest functional diversity of TGF-beta1 gene expression during EAE. While TGF-beta1 expressed early in the disease by T-cells may contribute to inflammatory lesion development, microglial cells may potentially contribute to recovery by expressing immunosuppressive TGF-beta1 during remission.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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