Sex Bias in Pathogenesis of Autoimmune Neuroinflammation: Relevance for Dimethyl Fumarate Immunomodulatory/Anti-oxidant Action
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In the present study, upon showing sexual dimorphism in dimethyl fumarate (DMF) efficacy to moderate the clinical severity of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in Dark Agouti rats, cellular and molecular substrate of this dimorphism was explored. In rats of both sexes, DMF administration from the day of immunization attenuated EAE severity, but this effect was more prominent in males leading to loss of the sexual dimorphism observed in vehicle-administered controls. Consistently, in male rats, DMF was more efficient in diminishing the number of CD4+ T lymphocytes infiltrating spinal cord (SC) and their reactivation, the number of IL-17+ T lymphocytes and particularly cellularity of their highly pathogenic IFN-γ+GM-CSF+IL-17+ subset. This was linked with changes in SC CD11b+CD45+TCRαβ− microglia/proinflammatory monocyte progeny, substantiated in a more prominent increase in the frequency of anti-inflammatory phygocyting CD163+ cells and the cells expressing high surface levels of immunoregulatory CD83 molecule (associated with apoptotic cells phagocytosis and implicated in downregulation of CD4+ T lymphocyte reactivation) among CD11b+CD45+TCRαβ– cells in male rat SC. These changes were associated with greater increase in the nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 expression in male rats administered with DMF. In accordance with the previous findings, DMF diminished reactive nitrogen and oxygen species generation and consistently, SC level of advanced oxidation protein products, to the greater extent in male rats. Overall, our study indicates sex-specificity in the sensitivity of DMF cellular and molecular targets and encourages sex-based clinical research to define significance of sex for action of therapeutic agents moderating autoimmune neuroinflammation-/oxidative stress-related nervous tissue damage.
Keywords:EAE; Dimethyl fumarate; Sexual dimorphism; Pathogenic IL-17+ lymphocytes; CD163+ phygocyting myeloid cells; CD83 expression; Oxidative stress
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