Author(s): Kato H, Ito A, Kawanokuchi J, Jin S, Mizuno T
Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP), a 38-amino acid neuropeptide belonging to the secretin-glucagon-vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) family, performs a variety of functions in both the nervous and immune systems. In this study, we examined the effects of PACAP on experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in C57BL/6 mice. When administrated intraperitoneally every other day after immunization with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) peptide 35-55, PACAP ameliorated both the clinical and pathological manifestations of EAE Ex vivo examination revealed a significant inhibition of MOG35-55-specific Th1 response in mice treated with PACAP. In vitro analysis revealed that PACAP suppressed the production of inflammatory cytokines, including TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, and IL-12, and expression of the costimulatory factor B7-2 on macrophage and microglia, which may function as antigen presenting cells (APC) in the CNS. While PACAP suppressed the differentiation of MOG35-55-specific T cells into Th1 effectors upon restimulation with MOG35-55-expressing APC, it did not affect interferon (IFN)-gamma production by MOG35-55-specific T cells stimulated with anti-CD3 and anti-CD28. These observations suggested that PACAP suppressed induction of EAE primarily via suppression of APC function and inflammatory cytokine production. PACAP may be useful in the future treatment of Th1-mediated autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis.