Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is an induced inflammatory and demyelinating disease of the central nervous system which shares many clinical and pathological features with and is considered the animal model of multiple sclerosis. There is extensive evidence that EAE is a Th1 disease eliciting secretion of proinflammatory cytokines like IFN-γ or TNF-α, and it has been suggested that cytokine-induced oxidative stress could have a role in EAE neuropathology. However, the individual roles of these and other cytokines in the pathogenesis of the disease are still uncertain. Here we analyze the role of IFN-γ during EAE by using both IFN-γ receptor-knockout (IFN-γ R-/-) and wild-type mice, both strains immunized with peptide 40-55 from rat myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein. The levels of oxidative stress were determined through the analysis of immunoreactivity for inducible NO synthase, nitrotyrosine, and malondialdehyde, as well as through the expression of the tissue-protective antioxidant factors metallothionein I+II (MT-I+II). We also examined the number of cells undergoing apoptosis as judged by using the TUNEL technique. The levels of oxidative stress, MT-I+II, and apoptotic cell death by EAE were significantly increased in all mice, though more so in IFN-γ R-/- mice compared with wild-type mice. These data support the notion that IFN-γ has a protective role against EAE. © 2002 Elsevier Science (USA).
- Experimental autoimmune encephalomy-elitis
- Multiple sclerosis
- Oxidative stress