Suppression of ongoing experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis by transfer of RelB-silenced bone marrow dentritic cells is associated with a change from a T helper Th17/Th1 to a Th2 and FoxP3+ regulatory T-cell profile

Huan Yang, Yong Zhang, Minghua Wu, Jing Li, Wenbin Zhou, Guiyuan Li, Xiaoling Li, Bo Xiao, Premkumar Christadoss

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Objective: To observe the therapeutic effect of RelB-silenced dendritic cells (DCs) in experimental autoimmune myasthenia gravis (EAMG), and further to investigate the mechanism of this immune system therapeutic. Methods: (1) RelB-silenced DCs and control DCs were prepared and the supernatants were collected for IL-12p70, IL-6, and IL-23 measurement by ELISA. (2) RelB-silenced DCs and control DCs were co-cultured with AChR-specific T cells, and the supernatant was collected to observe the IL-17, IFN-γ, IL-4 production. (3) EAMG mice with clinical scores of 1 to 2 were collected and enrolled randomly into the RelB-silenced DC group or the control DC group. RelB-silenced DCs or an equal amount of control DCs were injected intravenously on days 0, 7, and 14 after enrollment. Clinical scores were evaluated every other day. Twenty days after allotment, serum from individual mice was collected to detect serum concentrations of anti-mouse AChR IgG, IgG1, IgG2b, and IgG2c. The splenocytes were isolated for analysis of lymphocyte proliferative responses, cytokine (IL-17, IFN-γ, IL-4) production, and protein levels of RORγt, T-bet, GATA-3, and FoxP3 (the special transcription factors of Th17, Th1, Th2, and Treg, respectively). Results: (1) RelB-silenced DCs produced significantly reduced amounts of IL-12p70, IL-6, and IL-23, as compared with control DCs. (2) RelB-silenced DCs spurred on the CD4+ T cells from Th1/Th17 to the Th2 cell subset in the co-culture system. (3) Treatment with RelB-silenced DCs effectively reduced myasthenic symptoms and levels of serum anti-acetylcholine receptor autoantibody in mice with ongoing EAMG. Th17-related markers (RORγt, IL-17) and Th1-related markers (T-bet, IFN-γ) were downregulated, whereas Th2 markers (IL-4 and GATA3) and Treg marker (FoxP3) were upregulated. Conclusions: RelB-silenced DCs were able to create a particular cytokine environment that was absent of inflammatory cytokines. RelB-silenced DCs provide a practical means to normalize the differentiation of the four T-cell subsets (Th17, Th1, Th2, and Treg) in vivo, and thus possess therapeutic potential in Th1/Th17-dominant autoimmune disorders such as myasthenia gravis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-205
Number of pages9
JournalInflammation Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2010



  • Dendritic cells
  • Experimental myasthenia gravis
  • RelB
  • T-cell profile

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology

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