Inhibition of antigen-specific T cell trafficking into the central nervous system via blocking PECAM1/CD31 molecule

Zhu Qing, Matyas Sandor, Zsuzsa Radvany, Diane Sewell, Andras Falus, Dan Potthoff, William A. Muller, Zsuzsa Fabry*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Trafficking of antigen-specific T cells into the central nervous system (CNS) is an important initiating step in inflammation in the brain. In spite of the extensive knowledge about the role of adhesion molecules in T cell migration across peripheral vessels, the mechanism of the entry of antigen-specific T cells into the CNS is not known. This work was designed to study the regulatory roles of adhesion molecules in antigen-specific T cell migration into the CNS. Antigen-specific T cells were tracked in an in vivo migration assay using T cell receptor (TCR) transgenic mice having 95% of T cells specific for a defined antigen, pigeon cytochrome c (PCC). TCR transgenic mice were cannulated intraventricularly (IVT) for PCC antigen infusion and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) sampling. Upon PCC infusion into the CNS, the number of α/β TCR- Vβ3+ Mac1- cells in the CSF was characterized in the presence or absence of anti-adhesion molecule reagents. We found that antibodies against VCAM-1 (CD106), VLA-4 (CD49d/CD29), ICAM-1 (CD54), and LFA-1 (CD11a/CD18) did not influence the increased number of antigen-specific T cells in the CSF. However, upon intravenous (IV) injection, anti-PECAM-1 (CD31) antibody or PECAM-Ig chimeric molecule inhibited the trafficking of α/β TCR+ Vβ3+ Mac1- cells into the CNS. The expression of PECAM-1 (CD31) was also up-regulated on antigen-specific T cells in a time-dependent manner in vitro upon antigenic stimulation. The antigen-induced activation of T cells in vivo was measured by CD44 and LFA-1 expression and found to be comparable between mPECAMIg-treated mice and wild-type serum control-treated groups. This indicates that CD31 inhibition of antigen-specific T cell accumulation in the CNS is probably not due to a functional inhibition of these cells. Finally, adoptive transfer of CFSE-labeled AND transgenic cells into naïve animals resulted in the accumulation of these cells in the CNS upon PCC IVT immunization that was also inhibited by mPECAMIg treatment. Hence, PECAM-1 (CD31) might play an important role in regulating antigen-specific T cells trafficking in CNS inflammatory diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)798-807
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of neuropathology and experimental neurology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2001


  • Adhesion molecules
  • CD31
  • Central nervous system
  • Inflammation, PECAM-1
  • T cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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