Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is an animal model of multiple sclerosis. Immunization of B10.PL mice with the Ac1–9 peptide, the immunodominant determinant of myelin basic protein (MBP), produced a single episode of EAE followed by recovery and resistance to reinduction of disease. Using the CDR3 length spectratyping technique, we characterized the clonal composition of the Ac1–9–specific T cell repertoire from induction through onset and resolution of disease. Two clonally restricted subsets within a heterogeneous self-reactive repertoire were found in mouse lymph nodes, spleen, and spinal cord soon after immunization, before any sign of EAE. These clonotypes, designated BV8S2/BJ2S7 and BV16/BJ2S5, were present in all mice examined and thus considered public. BV8S2/BJ2S7 was found in far greater excess; was exclusively Th1 polarized; disappeared from the spinal cord, spleen, and lymph nodes concomitantly with recovery; and transferred disease to naive recipients. In contrast, BV16/BJ2S5 and numerous private clonotypes were either Th1 or Th2 and persisted following recovery. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that the public clonotype BV8S2/BJ2S7 is a driver of disease and necessary for its propagation.
Juscilene S. Menezes, Peter van den Elzen, Jordan Thornes, Donald Huffman, Nathalie M. Droin, Emanual Maverakis, Eli E. Sercarz
EAE in B10. PL mice follows a monophasic course.