Mechanism of action and recruitment of antigen-presenting cells in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis

Authors: Singh, Noopur
Advisor: Vallières, Luc
Abstract: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is widely accepted as an autoreactive T cells driven autoimmune disorder of the central nervous system (CNS), highly prevalent in Canada. Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is the established animal model for studying MS. Antigen-presenting cells (APCs) of myeloid origin, most importantly, dendritic cells initiate the priming of autoreactive T cells in the secondary lymphoid organs, and their eventual reactivation in the CNS compartment later in the disease course. However, a disparity exists in identifying myeloid APCs subsets with accuracy due to absence of reliable and specific markers, causing a hindrance in the field of cellbased immunotherapy. In addition, more needs to be deciphered on the molecular mechanisms that regulate activation of CNS endothelium for recruitment of myeloid APCs. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a pro-inflammatory cytokine, essential for differentiation of self-reactive TH17 lymphocytes, which are key regulators of EAE and play an important role in MS. The first objective of my thesis was to demonstrate that IL-6 plays another role in EAE by stimulating the CNS endothelium to express molecules required for the recruitment of myeloid antigen-presenting cells. We show that: (1) endothelial cells in the CNS express IL-6 receptor (IL-6R); (2) genetic deletion of IL-6R specifically in the endothelium blocks neutrophils, macrophages and dendritic cells recruitment as well as EAE development; (3) ICAM1-expressing extravascular myeloid APCs are reduced in number during the pre-onset stage of EAE; and (4) IL-6 stimulates endothelial cells to produce CXCL1 and PTGS2, which are involved in recruitment and activation of myeloid cells. The second general objective of my study was to get a phenotypic and functional overview of DC subsets present during the initial induction phase of EAE. For that purpose, we used the single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNAseq) technology to compare the transcriptional signature of CD11c+ cells from lymph nodes during the pre-clinical phase of EAE. We show that: (1) four major subsets of DCs are present: CD115+ monocytic DC (mDC), SiglecH+ plasmacytoid DC (pDC), XCR1+ conventional DCs type-1 (cDC1) and CCR7+ conventional DCs type-2 (cDC2); (2) cDC2 exhibit elevated expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-6, IL-12), maturation marker (CD83) and costimulatory molecules for antigen presentation (CD80, CD86, OX40L); (3) miR155, a microRNA known to have a role in EAE, is predominantly expressed in cDC2; (4) the enzyme D-amino acid oxidase (Dao), that produces hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) from D-amino acids, is upregulated in cDC2 of miR155-/- mice. In summary, my thesis work emphasizes on the critical role of myeloid APCs during initial pre-clinical events of EAE. Moreover, it suggests additional important role of classical IL-6 signaling in EAE development and leukocyte recruitment. It further identifies potential targets and biomarkers for diagnostics and therapeutic purposes.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2021
Open Access Date: 8 February 2021
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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