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T-cell brain infiltration and immature antigen-presenting cells in transgenic models of Alzheimer's disease-like cerebral amyloidosis


Ferretti, M T; Merlini, M; Späni, C; Gericke, C; Schweizer, N; Enzmann, G; Engelhardt, B; Kulic, L; Suter, T; Nitsch, R M (2016). T-cell brain infiltration and immature antigen-presenting cells in transgenic models of Alzheimer's disease-like cerebral amyloidosis. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 54:211-225.

Abstract

Cerebral beta-amyloidosis, one of the pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD), elicits a well-characterised, microglia-mediated local innate immune response. In contrast, it is not clear whether cells of the adaptive immune system, in particular T-cells, react to cerebral amyloidosis in AD. Even though parenchymal T-cells have been described in post-mortem brains of AD patients, it is not known whether infiltrating T-cells are specifically recruited to the extracellular deposits of beta-amyloid, and whether they are locally activated into proliferating, effector cells upon interaction with antigen-presenting cells (APCs). To address these issues we have analysed by confocal microscopy and flow-cytometry the localisation and activation status of both T-cells and APCs in transgenic (tg) mice models of AD-like cerebral amyloidosis. Increased numbers of infiltrating T-cells were found in amyloid-burdened brain regions of tg mice, with concomitant up-regulation of endothelial adhesion molecules ICAM-1 and VCAM-1, compared to non-tg littermates. The infiltrating T-cells in tg brains did not co-localise with amyloid plaques, produced less interferon-gamma than those in controls and did not proliferate locally. Bona-fide dendritic cells were virtually absent from the brain parenchyma of both non-tg and tg mice, and APCs from tg brains showed an immature phenotype, with accumulation of MHC-II in intracellular compartments. These results indicate that cerebral amyloidosis promotes T-cell infiltration but interferes with local antigen presentation and T-cell activation. The inability of the brain immune surveillance to orchestrate a protective immune response to amyloid-beta peptide might contribute to the accumulation of amyloid in the progression of the disease.

Abstract

Cerebral beta-amyloidosis, one of the pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD), elicits a well-characterised, microglia-mediated local innate immune response. In contrast, it is not clear whether cells of the adaptive immune system, in particular T-cells, react to cerebral amyloidosis in AD. Even though parenchymal T-cells have been described in post-mortem brains of AD patients, it is not known whether infiltrating T-cells are specifically recruited to the extracellular deposits of beta-amyloid, and whether they are locally activated into proliferating, effector cells upon interaction with antigen-presenting cells (APCs). To address these issues we have analysed by confocal microscopy and flow-cytometry the localisation and activation status of both T-cells and APCs in transgenic (tg) mice models of AD-like cerebral amyloidosis. Increased numbers of infiltrating T-cells were found in amyloid-burdened brain regions of tg mice, with concomitant up-regulation of endothelial adhesion molecules ICAM-1 and VCAM-1, compared to non-tg littermates. The infiltrating T-cells in tg brains did not co-localise with amyloid plaques, produced less interferon-gamma than those in controls and did not proliferate locally. Bona-fide dendritic cells were virtually absent from the brain parenchyma of both non-tg and tg mice, and APCs from tg brains showed an immature phenotype, with accumulation of MHC-II in intracellular compartments. These results indicate that cerebral amyloidosis promotes T-cell infiltration but interferes with local antigen presentation and T-cell activation. The inability of the brain immune surveillance to orchestrate a protective immune response to amyloid-beta peptide might contribute to the accumulation of amyloid in the progression of the disease.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute for Regenerative Medicine (IREM)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:May 2016
Deposited On:04 Jan 2017 16:27
Last Modified:04 Jan 2017 19:59
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0889-1591
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2016.02.009
PubMed ID:26872418

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