Ross, Haley, Cassaundra Hayward, and Stephanie Conant
The animal model for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is termed experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis or EAE. Induction of EAE in Lewis rats can be achieved through immunization with a myelin basic protein peptide (MBP), an endogenous protein found within the myelin of the central nervous system, mixed with adjuvant. EAE can be induced in rats to study the T cell immune responses triggered during a disease course. EAE in rats mimics the relapsing-remitting form of MS seen in human patients and CD4+ T cells isolated from these animals can be studied for cytokine production indicative of inflammatory immune responses. Enzyme-linked Immunosorbant Assays (ELISA) were used to measure cytokine responses to MBP and identify the important subsets of CD4+ T cells involved in disease induction in this animal model. The study of this model of autoimmunity could lead to a better understanding of disease course and treatment options focused on specific cellular function and mechanisms of activation of these self- reactive cells.