Reevaluation of P-selectin and α4 integrin as targets for the treatment of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis

Steven M. Kerfoot, M. Ursula Norman, Benoit M. Lapointe, Claudine S. Bonder, Lori Zbytnuik, Paul Kubes

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There has been a great deal of interest in adhesion molecules as targets for the treatment of multiple sclerosis and other inflammatory diseases. In this study, we systematically evaluate α4 integrin and P-selectin as targets for therapy in murine models of multiple sclerosis-for the first time directly measuring the ability of their blockade to inhibit recruitment and relate this to clinical efficacy. Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis was induced in C57BL/6 or SJL/J mice and intravital microscopy was used to quantify leukocyte interactions within the CNS microvasculature. In both strains, pretreatment with blocking Abs to either α4 integrin or P-selectin reduced firm adhesion to a similar extent, but did not block it completely. The combination of the Abs was more effective than either Ab alone, although the degree of improvement was more evident in SJL/J mice. Similarly, dual blockade was much more effective at preventing the subsequent accumulation of fluorescently labeled leukocytes in the tissue in both strains. Despite evidence of blockade of leukocyte recruitment mechanisms, no clinical benefit was observed with anti-adhesion molecule treatments or genetic deletion of P-selectin in the C57BL/6 model, or in a pertussis toxin-modified model in SJL/J mice. In contrast, Abs to α4 integrin resulted in a significant delay in the onset of clinical signs of disease in the standard SJL/J model. Despite evidence of a similar ability to block firm adhesion, Abs to P-selectin had no effect. Importantly, combined blockade of both adhesion molecules resulted in significantly better clinical outcome than anti-α4 integrin alone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6225-6234
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2006

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