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Accumulating evidence suggests that a degenerative processes within the brain can trigger the formation of new, focal inflammatory lesions in Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Here, we used a novel pre-clinical MS animal model to test whether the amelioration of degenerative brain events reduces the secondary recruitment of peripheral immune cells and, in consequence, inflammatory lesion development. Neural degeneration was induced by a 3 weeks cuprizone intoxication period. To mitigate the cuprizone-induced pathology, animals were treated with Laquinimod (25 mg/kg) during the cuprizone-intoxication period. At the beginning of week 6, encephalitogenic T cell development in peripheral lymphoid organs was induced by the immunization with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein 35-55 peptide (i.e., Cup/EAE). Demyelination, axonal injury and reactive gliosis were determined by immunohistochemistry. Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging was performed to analyze glia activation in vivo. Vehicle-treated cuprizone mice displayed extensive callosal demyelination, glia activation and enhanced TSPO-ligand binding. This cuprizone-induced pathology was profoundly ameliorated in mice treated with Laquinimod. In vehicle-treated Cup/EAE mice, the cuprizone-induced pathology triggered massive peripheral immune cell recruitment into the forebrain, evidenced by multifocal perivascular inflammation, glia activation and neuro-axonal injury. While anti myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein 35-55 peptide immune responses were comparable in vehicle- and Laquinimod-treated Cup/EAE mice, the cuprizone-triggered immune cell recruitment was ameliorated by the Laquinimod treatment. This study clearly illustrates that amelioration of a primary brain-intrinsic degenerative process secondary halts peripheral immune cell recruitment and, in consequence, inflammatory lesion development. These findings have important consequences for the interpretation of the results of clinical studies.
PMID: 31731041 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]