The B7/CD28 pathway provides critical costimulatory signals required for complete T cell activation and has served as a potential target for immunotherapeutic strategies designed to regulate autoimmune diseases. This study was designed to examine the roles of CD28 and its individual ligands, B7-1 and B7-2, in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a Th1- mediated inflammatory disease of the CNS. EAE induction in CD28- or B7- deficient nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice was compared with the effects of B7/CD28 blockade using Abs in wild-type NOD mice. Disease severity was significantly reduced in CD28-deficient as well as anti-B7-1/B7-2-treated NOD mice. B7-2 appeared to play the more dominant role as there was a moderate decrease in disease incidence and severity in B7-2-deficient animals. EAE resistance was not due to the lack of effective priming of the myelin peptide-specific T cells in vivo. T cells isolated from CD28-deficient animals produced equivalent amounts of IFN-γ and TNF-α in response to the immunogen, proteolipid protein 56-70. In fact, IFN-γ and TNF-α production by Ag-specific T cells was enhanced in both the B7-1 and B7-2-deficient NOD mice. In contrast, peptide-specific delayed-type hypersensitivity responses in these animals were significantly decreased, suggesting a critical role for CD28 costimulation in in vivo trafficking and systemic immunity. Collectively, these results support a critical role for CD28 costimulation in EAE induction.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy