Leukocyte trafficking into the CNS is a prominent feature driving the immunopathogenesis of multiple sclerosis and its animal model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Blocking the recruitment of inflammatory leukocytes into the CNS represents an exploitable therapeutic target; however, the adhesion molecules that specifically regulate the step of leukocyte diapedesis into the CNS remain poorly understood. We report that CD99 is critical for lymphocyte transmigration without affecting adhesion in a human blood-brain barrier model. CD99 blockade in vivo ameliorated experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and decreased the accumulation of CNS inflammatory infiltrates, including dendritic cells, B cells, and CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Anti-CD99 therapy was effective when administered after the onset of disease symptoms and blocked relapse when administered therapeutically after disease symptoms had recurred. These findings underscore an important role for CD99 in the pathogenesis of CNS autoimmunity and suggest that it may serve as a novel therapeutic target for controlling neuroinflammation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy