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Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is commonly used to investigate mechanisms of autoimmune-mediated damage to oligodendrocytes, myelin, and axons in multiple sclerosis (MS). Four distinct autoimmune mechanisms with subsequently distinct patterns of demyelination have been recognized in acute MS lesions. EAE correlates for those distinct patterns of MS lesions are unknown. An excessive loss of myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG), as a result of distal oligodendrogliopathy, is found exclusively in the subtype III lesion. We sought to answer if types of demyelination in acute lesions during onset and relapse of EAE can replicate the specific patterns observed in MS acute lesions.


In parental H-2b (C57BL/6, B6) and hybrid H-2b/s [(B6 × SJL) F1] EAE mice, we examined spinal cord levels of MOG, MAG, and myelin basic protein (MBP), and compared to levels of axonal neurofilament (NF160) to assess axonal function, and levels of PARPp85 as an indicator of irreversible apoptosis.


During disease onset, levels of MOG significantly dropped in both strains, although more profoundly in H-2b/s mice. Levels of MOG recovered in relapsing mice of both strains. Regulation of MAG was dissimilar to MOG. Modest loss of MAG was found at disease onset in both strains of mice. Unexpectedly, in relapsing H-2b/s mice, a major depletion of MAG and NF160, accompanied with sharp elevation of PARPp85 levels, was measured. PARPp85 immunoreactivity was observed in cytoplasm and nuclei of some MBP containing cells.


Taken together, our results show genetically controlled distinct patterns of MOG and MAG depletion, in MOG35–55 induced EAE in H-2b and H-2b/s mice. The data also suggest distinctive immune regulation of acute lesions that develop in relapsing compared to disease onset. A profound depletion of MAG, concomitant with marked depletion of axonal NF160, and sharp elevation of PARPp85 levels, occurred exclusively in relapsing H-2b/s mice. Our findings suggest concurrence of sharp decrease of MAG levels, axonal dysfunction and irreversible apoptosis with severe relapsing disease in H-2b/s mice. We propose that MOG-induced EAE in H-2b/s mice may prove as a useful model in studying mechanisms, which govern autoimmune-induced preferential loss of MAG, and its impact on oligodendroglial pathology.


Immune System Diseases | Medical Genetics | Medical Immunology | Medical Microbiology