Apoptosis in the Nervous System in Experimental Allergic Encephalomyelitis

Pender, M. P., Nguyen, K. B., McCombe, P. A. and Kerr, J. F. R. (1991) Apoptosis in the Nervous System in Experimental Allergic Encephalomyelitis. Journal of the Neurological Sciences, 104 1: 81-87. doi:10.1016/0022-510X(91)90219-W

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Author Pender, M. P.
Nguyen, K. B.
McCombe, P. A.
Kerr, J. F. R.
Title Apoptosis in the Nervous System in Experimental Allergic Encephalomyelitis
Journal name Journal of the Neurological Sciences   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0022-510X
Publication date 1991-07-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/0022-510X(91)90219-W
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 104
Issue 1
Start page 81
End page 87
Total pages 7
Language eng
Subject 321013 Neurology and Neuromuscular Diseases
Abstract We report here for the first time the occurrence of apoptosis of cells in the spinal cord in experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE), an autoimmune, T-cell-mediated demyelinating disease. Four different forms of EAE were studied in the Lewis rat: (i) acute EAE induced by inoculation with whole spinal cord and adjuvants; (ii) acute EAE induced by inoculation with myelin basic protein (MBP) and adjuvants; (iii) acute EAE induced by the passive transfer of MBP-sensitized spleen cells; (iv) chronic relapsing EAE induced by inoculation with whole spinal cord and adjuvants followed by treatment with low-dose cyclosporin A. Cells undergoing apoptosis were recognized at light and electron microscopy by the presence of either crescentic masses of condensed chromatin lying against the nuclear envelope or rounded masses of uniformly dense chromatin. They were found in both the white and grey matter of the spinal cord in all 4 forms of this disease. Although it was not possible to identify definitively the types of cells undergoing apoptosis, the size and location of some of the affected cells suggested that they were oligodendrocytes. As there is now a large body of evidence that T-cell-induced target cell death takes the form of apoptosis, it is attractive to hypothesize that oligodendrocyte apoptosis is occurring in EAE as a result of oligodendrocyte-directed T-cell cytotoxicity. However, other apoptotic cells were located within the myelin sheath, meninges and perivascular spaces and were clearly not oligodendrocytes but were most likely blood-derived mononuclear cells. The sparsity of their cytoplasm and the absence of phagocytosed material suggested that they were mainly lymphocytes rather than macrophages. Apoptosis has been shown to be involved in deleting autoreactive T-cells during the normal development of tolerance. Thus apoptotic deletion of myelin/oligodendrocyte-specific lymphocytes in the central nervous system in EAE might explain both the subsidence of inflammation and the acquisition of tolerance in this autoimmune disease.
Keyword apoptosis
cell death
experimental allergic encephalomyelitis
experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown
Additional Notes This is an author version of an article originally published as M.P. Pender, K.B. Nguyen, P.A. McCombe and J.F.R. Kerr (1991) Apoptosis in the Nervous System in Experimental Allergic Encephalomyelitis, Journal of the Neurological Sciences, (1991) 104 (1): 81-87. doi: 10.1016/0022-510X(91)90219-W Copyright 1991 Elsevier. All rights reserved. Single copies only may be downloaded and printed for a user's personal research and study.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Medicine Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 232 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 18 Oct 2005, 10:00:00 EST