|NKG2D-mediated cytotoxicity toward oligodendrocytes suggests a mechanism for tissue injury in multiple sclerosis. |
Saikali, Philippe, et al.
J. Neurosci., 27: 1220-8 (2007)
NKG2D is an activating or coactivating receptor expressed on human natural killer (NK) cells, CD8+ T cells, and gamma/delta T cells. NKG2D ligands have been detected on many tumor cell types and can be induced on nontransformed cells by environmental signals including DNA damage and inflammation. We investigated the contribution of NKG2D-NKG2D ligand interaction on CNS-directed immune responses. We observed that primary cultures of human adult oligodendrocytes and fetal astrocytes expressed ligands for NKG2D in vitro whereas neurons, microglia, and adult astrocytes did not. Disruption of the NKG2D-NKG2D ligand interaction using blocking antibodies significantly inhibited killing of primary human oligodendrocytes mediated by activated human NK cells, gamma/delta T cells, and allo-reactive CD8+ T cells. NKG2D ligands [major histocompatibility complex class I chain-related molecules A and B (MICA/B)] were detected in groups of cells and colocalized with an oligodendrocyte marker (adenomatous polyposis coli) in white matter sections obtained from multiple sclerosis lesions but not in normal control samples. CD8+ T cells could be detected in close proximity to MICA/B+ cells within multiple sclerosis lesions, supporting an in vivo interaction between these immune effectors and stressed MICA/B-expressing oligodendrocytes. These results imply that NKG2D-NKG2D ligand interaction can potentially contribute to cytotoxic responses mediated by activated immune effector cells in the inflamed CNS, as observed in multiple sclerosis.
|Proliferation of NG2-positive cells and altered oligodendrocyte numbers in the contused rat spinal cord. |
McTigue, D M, et al.
J. Neurosci., 21: 3392-400 (2001)
Given the numerous reparative roles glia may play after spinal cord injury (SCI), glial proliferation and cell number were examined in a model of traumatic SCI. Emphasis was placed on analysis of oligodendrocytes and NG2-positive (NG2+) cells, an endogenous cell population that may be involved in oligodendrocyte replacement. Overall, proliferation (assessed by bromodeoxyuridine incorporation) was markedly elevated during the first 2 weeks after injury and declined thereafter; a large portion of these dividing cells likely consisted of microglia-macrophages. Although the total number of NG2+ cells in the epicenter was reduced by half, we noted protracted proliferation in surviving NG2+ cells, with values sevenfold greater than in uninjured controls. Elevated proliferation of NG2+ cells persisted throughout the first 4 weeks after injury. However, the absolute number of NG2+ cells was not increased over controls, suggesting that the daughter cells either did not survive or they differentiated into other cell types. As expected, oligodendrocyte numbers were drastically altered after SCI. By 7 d after injury, the number of oligodendrocytes at the impact site was reduced by 93%. Despite ongoing tissue loss, the number of oligodendrocytes in spared tissue rose threefold at 14 d after injury. Although the function of NG2+ cells within the spinal cord is not completely understood, several studies suggest that they may differentiate into oligodendrocytes. Thus, proliferating NG2+ cells may contribute to the increased oligodendrocyte number observed at 2 weeks after injury. Future studies are required, however, to definitively determine the role NG2+ cells play in oligodendrocyte genesis, remyelination, and other post-injury events.