Immunized ER-β−/− and WT donors
LNC were sorted for CD11b/CD11c+ DC and CD11b/CD11c− (non-DC) fractions. The DC fractions were from ER-β−/− or WT mice, whereas non-DC fractions were all from WT mice. Cells from various ER-β−/− and WT donors were mixed with the ratios of DC (3%) and non-DC (97%) based on the immune cell composition KPT-330 mw of non-manipulated immunized donor LNC, then stimulated with autoantigen before adoptive transfer into ER-β ligand- or vehicle-treated recipient mice (Fig. 5A). As shown in Fig. 5B, ER-β ligand-treated mice adoptively transferred with WT DC (green) had reduced EAE disease severity compared with ER-β ligand-treated mice that were adoptively transferred ER-β−/− DC (orange). These results demonstrated that ER-β ligand treatment during the effector phase of EAE acts at least in part on ER-β-expressing DC. Previously, our lab showed that ER-β ligand treatment was neuroprotective in active EAE without altering cytokine production of autoantigen-specific selleck chemicals immune cells in the periphery and without reducing the level of CNS inflammation. Specifically, ER-β ligand treatment preserved axon densities and myelin staining late in disease despite persistent inflammation in the CNS 16. However, it remained unknown whether qualitative differences might exist in the inflammatory
infiltrates of ER-β ligand-treated EAE mice. Therefore, in the present study, we examined immune cells in the CNS of EAE mice treated with ER-β ligand. We found that ER-β ligand treatment conferred clinical protection in the effector phase of adoptive EAE and reduced the percentage of DC in the target organ. DC isolated from the CNS of ER-β ligand-treated EAE mice exhibited decreased TNF-α production. Finally, we showed that ER-β ligand treatment in EAE conferred disease protection through ER-β expressed
on DC. This is the first study elucidating an in vivo immunomodulatory role for ER-β during autoimmune demyelinating disease. DC are emerging as critical mediators of inflammation in a variety of organ-specific autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and EAE due to their efficient antigen-presenting ability 20, 26, 28–31. CNS DC are critical to EAE Tau-protein kinase pathogenesis, as DC infiltrates in the CNS during EAE preferentially localize with effector TC at sites of inflammation and they alone can activate infiltrating naïve TC to differentiate and perpetuate inflammation 20, 28. Our finding of quantitative and qualitative effects of ER-β ligand treatment on CNS DC, which occurred in a setting of improved clinical and neuropathologic disease corroborates other studies showing that CNS DC play a critical role in EAE disease severity 32–34. Further, ER-β ligand treatment can now be considered as a novel treatment strategy targeting DC in the CNS. DC are excellent targets for organ-specific autoimmune diseases for several reasons.