Integrin/chemokine receptor interactions in the pathogenesis of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis

Ghazal Banisadr*, Samantha R. Schwartz, Joseph R. Podojil, Linda A. Piccinini, Stefan Lanker, Stephen D. Miller, Richard J. Miller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Excessive infiltration of leukocytes and the elaboration of inflammatory cytokines are believed to be responsible for the observed damage to neurons and oligodendrocytes during multiple sclerosis (MS). Blocking adhesion molecules or preventing the effects of chemotactic mediators such as chemokines can be exploited to prevent immune cell recruitment to inflamed tissues. An anti-α4 integrin antibody (anti-VLA-4mAb/natalizumab (Tysabri®)) has been used as a treatment for MS and reduces leukocyte influx into the brain. In patients, anti-VLA-4 reduces relapses and disability progression. However, its mechanism of action in the brain is not completely understood. The anti-VLA-4mAb was demonstrated to mobilize hematopoietic progenitor cells. Interestingly, the chemokine SDF-1/CXCL12 and its receptor CXCR4 are also key factors regulating the migration of hematopoietic stem cells. Moreover, studies have revealed a crosstalk between SDF-1/CXCR4 and VLA-4 signaling in regulating cell migration. In this study, we address the effects of anti-VLA-4 on chemokine signaling in the brain during MS. We assessed the ability of anti-VLA-4 to regulate Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE) and chemokine/receptor signaling. Preclinical administration of anti-VLA-4 delayed clinical signs of EAE. We found that anti-VLA-4 treatment reduced chemokine expression. In order to further explore the interaction of anti-VLA-4 with chemokine/receptor signaling we used dual color transgenic mice. After EAE induction, the expression of both SDF-1/CXCL12 and CXCR4 receptor was upregulated, treatment with anti-VLA-4 inhibited this effect. The effects of anti-VLA-4 on chemokine signaling in the CNS may be of importance when considering its mechanism of action and understanding the pathogenesis of EAE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)438-445
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Anti-VLA-4 antibody
  • Chemokine
  • Chemokine receptor
  • Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pharmacology
  • Immunology


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