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Limiting-dilution analysis of the frequency of myelin basic protein-reactive T cells in Lewis, PVG/c and BN rats. Implication for susceptibility to autoimmune encephalomyelitis

, : Limiting-dilution analysis of the frequency of myelin basic protein-reactive T cells in Lewis, PVG/c and BN rats. Implication for susceptibility to autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Immunology 69(2): 215-221

Susceptibility to experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), which is an autoimmune disease inducible by immunization with a brain-specific antigen in complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA), is different among strains. In an attempt to resolve the immune mechanisms by which the difference in susceptibility to EAE is regulated, we re-estimated susceptibility of several strains of rats, and the frequency of antigen-reactive T cells in each strain was determined by limiting-dilution analysis. EAE was induced in Lewis (LEW), PVG/c and BN rats using four different methods: (i) active immunization with guinea-pig myelin basic protein (GPBP) in CFA; (ii) immunization with GPBP in CFA that had been further supplemented with Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Ra (supplemented CFA); (iii) adoptive transfer of GPBP-activated spleen cells into syngeneic rats; and (iv) transfer of a GPBP-specific T-cell line. The LEW strain was susceptible to all four methods. The PVG/c strain was resistant to immunization with GPBP in conventional CFA (GPBP/conv. CFA), but was susceptible to immunization with GPBP in supplemented CFA (GPBP/suppl. CFA) and to transfer of activated spleen cells. The BN strain was resistant to all methods. Limiting-dilution analysis using T cells from LEW, PVG/c or BN rats has revealed that each strain of rat displays a different pattern of frequencies of GPBP-reactive or the 68-88 sequence (GP68-88)-reactive T cells. LEW rats showed relatively high frequencies of GPBP-reactive and GP68-88-reactive T cells after immunization with either GPBP/conv. CFA or GPBP/suppl. CFA, symptomatic rats showing higher values than asymptomatic rats. In asymptomatic PVG/c rats, the frequency of GP68-88-reactive T cells was lower than that of GPBP-reactive T cells. In PVG/c rats with clinical EAE, however, GP68-88-reactive T cells increased in frequency and were almost the same as GPBP-reactive T cells. BN rats, on the other hand, responded very poorly not only to the GP68-88 sequence but also to the whole GPBP molecule, even after immunization with GPBP/suppl. CFA. These findings, obtained by limiting-dilution analysis, strongly suggest that the development of EAE in LEW, PVG/c and BN rats is closely related to the frequency of GPBP-reactive T cells. Furthermore, it is shown that resistance to EAE found in PVG/c and BN rats may be generated by different immune mechanisms.


PMID: 1689693

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