Antigen-specific tolerance as a therapy for experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis

Stephen D Miller*, L. J. Tan, Louise Pope, Bradford L. Mcrae, William J. Karpus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


The effects of neuroantigen-specific tolerance on the induction and effector stages of EAE were examined. Tolerance induced by the i.v. injection of syngeneic splenocytes coupled with purified neuroantigens or encephalitogenic peptides of MBP and PLP using ethylene carbodiimide was extremely effective in both prevention and treatment of acute and relapsing forms of EAE in Lewis rats and SJL/J mice. The unresponsiveness is rapidly-induced, dose-dependent, long-lasting, efficient, MHC class II-restricted, and exquisitely antigen-specific. This procedure targets only effector cells bearing clonotypic receptors specific for the autoantigen/ autoepitope and thus does not depend upon the autoimmune response being dominated by a restricted T cell repertoire. Moreover, it does not require that the response to the autoantigen be dominated by recognition of a specific epitope(s) within a particular autoantigen, or even the identification of the specific autoantigen. The results also demonstrate the usefulness of peripheral tolerance induced by antigen-coupled syngeneic splenocytes for identifying the fine specificity of autoimmune T cell responses which appear to change during the progression of relapsing EAE. Thus, this technique offers major advantages over many other currently employed immunoregula-tory strategies and is therefore relevant for establishment of therapeutic protocols for the antigen-specific treatment of human T cell-dependent autoimmune disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-222
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Reviews of Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992


  • Autoimmunity
  • Experimental autoimmune encephalomyeliti
  • Immune tolerance
  • Myelin basic protei
  • Proteolipid protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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