The major pathological feature in the central nervous system (CNS) following traumatic brain injury is activation of microglia both around and distant from the injury site. intraperitoneal administration of interleukin-12 (IL-12) after brain injury resulted in a 7% weight loss, clinical signs of mild EAE and significant myelin basic protein (MBP)-specific splenic cell proliferation. The extent of pathology, in terms of the number of inflammatory perivascular cuffs and activation of microglia was greatest if IL-12 was administered immediately compared to a week following brain injury, whether at one or two sites. Specifically immunostaining for MHC class II and iNOS on macrophages and microglia, ICAM-1 on endothelial cells and macrophages was observed around the site of injury. A degree of myelin processing was apparent from immunostaining of MBP in inflammatory cells distant from the lesion. Inflammatory cuffs comprising macrophages, activated microglia, CD4(+) T cells and iNOS(+) cells were also detected distant to the injury site in the medulla and spinal cord of animals treated with IL-12. These results suggest that immune-mediated events in which IL-12 production is stimulated as for example viral infection, superimposed on a brain injury, could provide a trigger for a MS-like pathology. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
- experimental allergic encephalomyelitis
- T cells
- central nervous system