TIRC7 and HLA-DR axis contributes to inflammation in multiple sclerosis.

Neurobiology and immunology:

This research group investigated the potential interactions between a novel seven-transmembrane receptor on activated lymphocytes (TIRC7) and its ligand the human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DR and their role in the inflammatory process in multiple sclerosis. They used immunohistochemistry and microscopy on archival MS autopsies, proliferation-, cytokine- and surface-staining assays using peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) from MS patients as well as an in vitro model. The results demonstrated that TIRC7 was expressed in brain-infiltrating lymphocytes and strongly correlated with disease activity in MS. The expression of TIRC7 was reduced in T cells and induced in B cells in the peripheral blood of MS patients. Interestingly the interaction of TIRC7+ T lymphocytes with cells expressing HLA-DR on their surface resulted in the proliferation and activation of T cells. While an anti-TIRC7 antibody prevented the interaction with its ligand, therefore inhibiting proliferation and Th1 and Th17 cytokine expression in T cells obtained from MS patients and in myelin basic protein-specific T cell clones. Overall, this study suggests that TIRC7 is possibly involved in inflammation in MS and anti-TIRC7 may prevent immune activation. This may have a therapeutic role in the future.

Authors: Frischer J, Reindl M
Source: Mult Scler. 2014 Feb 13. [Epub ahead of print]
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