Background: In the brain, chronic inflammatory activity may lead to compromised delivery of oxygen and glucose suggesting that therapeutic approaches aimed at restoring metabolic balance may be useful. In vivo exposure to chronic mild normobaric hypoxia (10 % oxygen) leads to a number of endogenous adaptations that includes vascular remodeling (angioplasticity). Angioplasticity promotes tissue survival. We have previously shown that induction of adaptive angioplasticity modulates the disease pattern in myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG)-induced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). In the present study, we define mechanisms by which adaptation to low oxygen functionally ameliorates the signs and symptoms of EAE and for the first time show that tissue hypoxia may fundamentally alter neurodegenerative disease. Methods: C57BL/6 mice were immunized with MOG, and some of them were kept in the hypoxia chambers (day 0) and exposed to 10 % oxygen for 3 weeks, while the others were kept at normoxic environment. Sham-immunized controls were included in both hypoxic and normoxic groups. Animals were sacrificed at pre-clinical and peak disease periods for tissue collection and analysis. Results: Exposure to mild hypoxia decreased histological evidence of inflammation. Decreased numbers of cluster of differentiation (CD)4+ T cells were found in the hypoxic spinal cords associated with a delayed Th17-specific cytokine response. Hypoxia-induced changes did not alter the sensitization of peripheral T cells to the MOG peptide. Exposure to mild hypoxia induced significant increases in anti-inflammatory IL-10 levels and an increase in the number of spinal cord CD25+FoxP3+ T-regulatory cells. Conclusions: Acclimatization to mild hypoxia incites a number of endogenous adaptations that induces an anti-inflammatory milieu. Further understanding of these mechanisms system may pinpoint possible new therapeutic targets to treat neurodegenerative disease.
Esen, N., Katyshev, V., Serkin, Z., Katysheva, S., & Dore-Duffy, P. (2016). Endogenous adaptation to low oxygen modulates T-cell regulatory pathways in EAE. Journal of Neuroinflammation, 13(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12974-015-0407-4