Immunodominant T-cell epitopes of MOG reside in its transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains in EAE

Aparna Shetty, Sheena G. Gupta, Michel Varrin-Doyer, Martin S Weber, Thomas Prod'Homme, Nicolas Molnarfi, Niannian Ji, Patricia A. Nelson, Juan C Patarroyo, Ulf Schulze-Topphoff, Stephen E. Fogal, Thomas Forsthuber, Raymond A Sobel, Claude C.A. Bernard, Anthony J Slavin, Scott S Zamvil

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24 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Studies evaluating T-cell recognition of myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) in multiple sclerosis (MS) and its model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), have focused mostly on its 117 amino acid (aa) extracellular domain, especially peptide (p) 35-55. We characterized T-cell responses to the entire 218 aa MOG sequence, including its transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains. Methods: T-cell recognition in mice was examined using overlapping peptides and intact fulllength mouse MOG. EAE was evaluated by peptide immunization and by adoptive transfer of MOG epitope-specific T cells. Frequency of epitope-specific T cells was examined by ELISPOT. Results: Three T-cell determinants of MOG were discovered in its transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains, p119-132, p181-195, and p186-200. Transmembrane MOG p119-132 induced clinical EAE, CNS inflammation, and demyelination as potently as p35-55 in C57BL/6 mice and other H-2b strains. p119-128 contained its minimal encephalitogenic epitope. p119-132 did not cause disease in EAE-susceptible non-H-2b strains, including Biozzi, NOD, and PL/J. MOG p119-132-specific T cells produced Th1 and Th17 cytokines and transferred EAE to wild-type recipient mice. After immunization with full-length MOG, a significantly higher frequency of MOG-reactive T cells responded to p119-132 than to p35-55, demonstrating that p119-132 is an immunodominant encephalitogenic epitope. MOG p181-195 did not cause EAE, and MOG p181-195-specific Tcells could not transfer EAE into wild-type or highly susceptible T- and B-cell-deficient mice. Conclusions: Transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains of MOG contain immunodominant T-cell epitopes in EAE. A CNS autoantigen can also contain nonpathogenic stimulatory T-cell epitopes. Recognition that a myelin antigen contains multiple encephalitogenic and nonencephalitogenic determinants may have implications for therapeutic development in MS.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalNeurology: Neuroimmunology & Neuroinflammation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2014

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