Extracellular adenosine signaling induces CX3CL1 expression in the brain to promote experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, 14853, USA
Journal of Neuroinflammation 2012, 9:193 doi:10.1186/1742-2094-9-193Published: 10 August 2012
Multiple sclerosis and its animal model experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) are debilitating neuroinflammatory diseases mediated by lymphocyte entry into the central nervous system (CNS). While it is not known what triggers lymphocyte entry into the CNS during neuroinflammation, blockade of lymphocyte migration has been shown to be effective in controlling neuroinflammatory diseases. Since we have previously shown that extracellular adenosine is a key mediator of lymphocyte migration into the CNS during EAE progression, we wanted to determine which factors are regulated by adenosine to modulate EAE development.
We performed a genetic analysis of wild type and CD73−/− (that are unable to produce extracellular adenosine and are protected from EAE development) to identify factors that are both important for EAE development and controlled by extracellular adenosine signaling.
We show that extracellular adenosine triggered lymphocyte migration into the CNS by inducing the expression of the specialized chemokine/adhesion molecule CX3CL1 at the choroid plexus. In wild type mice, CX3CL1 is upregulated in the brain on Day 10 post EAE induction, which corresponds with initial CNS lymphocyte infiltration and the acute stage of EAE. Conversely, mice that cannot synthesize extracellular adenosine (CD73−/− mice) do not upregulate CX3CL1 in the brain following EAE induction and are protected from EAE development and its associated lymphocyte infiltration. Additionally, blockade of the A2A adenosine receptor following EAE induction prevents disease development and the induction of brain CX3CL1 expression. The CX3CL1 induced during EAE is found on the choroid plexus, which is the barrier between the blood and cerebral spinal fluid in the brain and is a prime entry point into the CNS for immune cells. Furthermore, CX3CL1 expression can be induced in the brains of mice and in choroid plexus cell line following A2A adenosine receptor agonist administration. Most importantly, we show that CX3CL1 blockade protects against EAE development and inhibits lymphocyte entry into the CNS.
We conclude that extracellular adenosine is an endogenous modulator of neuroinflammation during EAE that induces CX3CL1 at the choroid plexus to trigger lymphocyte entry into the brain.