HLA class II transgenic mice authenticate restriction of myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein-specific immune response implicated in multiple sclerosis pathogenesis.Int Immunol 2003; 15(4):535-46II
Myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) is a potential target antigen of the central nervous system (CNS), known to induce autoreactive T cell response and demyelinating anti-MOG antibodies in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. Association of HLA class II genes with MS is well established. To better understand the role of HLA class II molecules in disease pathogenesis, we generated transgenic mice that express HLA-DR2, -DR3, -DR4, -DQB1*0601, -DQB1*0604 and -DQ8 without mouse class II (Abeta(0)). We have for the first time characterized the T and B cell epitopes of human MOG restricted by different HLA class II molecules. Immunization with recombinant MOG (rMOG) generated a strong CD4(+) T cell-mediated response in an HLA class II-restricted manner. Cytokine analysis revealed an increase in pro-inflammatory (IFN-gamma, IL-12 and IL-6) and anti-inflammatory (IL-10) cytokines. T cell autoreactivity to MOG was directed against peptides 1-20, 31-50, 61-80 and 91-110, of which three are also immunodominant epitopes for MOG in MS. A strong B cell response to MOG was observed in all transgenic mice, and major B cell epitopes recognized were located within amino acids 1-30, 51-80 and 101-120 of human MOG, which consists of two epitopes reported in MS. Transgenic mice used in this study recognized the immunodominant MOG epitopes similar to HLA class II-restricted human T cells, and would therefore be valuable in elucidating the roles of HLA class II genes and autoantigens in MS.