Hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplantation is a potential therapy that can offer multiple sclerosis patients a radical, potentially curative treatment. Using experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) as a model, we previously reported that retrovirally transduced B cells expressing myelin basic protein (MBP), MBP Ac1-11, or myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein p35-55 induced tolerance and reduced symptoms. Here, we extend our tolerance approach using bone marrow (BM) cells expressing full-length phospholipid protein (PLP) in a model for relapsing, remitting EAE. Using GFP expression as a marker, we found that up to 50% of cells were positive for transgene expression in peripheral blood after 900 rad irradiation and transduced BM transplantation, and expression was stable in hematopoietic lineages for over 10 weeks. Upon challenge, T cell proliferation in response to PLP p139-151 was reduced and EAE was completely abolished in a pretreatment protocol. In addition, protection from EAE could be achieved with PLP-transduced BM cells given on day 12 after immunization, a potential therapeutic protocol. Finally, the protective effect of PLP-expressing BM could also be observed using a nonmyeloablative protocol, albeit with lower efficacy. Our results suggest that HSC may be useful to achieve long-lasting tolerance to protect mice from EAE and possibly to promote CNS repair in ongoing EAE. Copyright © The American Society of Gene Therapy.
Xu, B., Haviernik, P., Wolfraim, L. A., Bunting, K. D., & Scott, D. W. (2006). Bone marrow transplantation combined with gene therapy to induce antigen-specific tolerance and ameliorate EAE. Molecular Therapy, 13(1), 42–48. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ymthe.2005.09.002