Neuroinflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) are characterized by focal regions of demyelination and axonal loss associated with infiltrating T cells. However, the role of activated T cells in causing neuronal injury remains unclear. CD4 and CD8 T cells were isolated from normal donors and polyclonally activated using plate-bound anti-CD3 and soluble anti-CD28. The conditioned T cell supernatants caused toxicity to cultured human fetal neurons, which could be blocked by immunodepleting the supernatants of granzyme B (GrB). Recombinant GrB also caused toxicity in neurons by caspase-dependent pathways but no toxicity was seen in astrocytes. The neurotoxicity was independent of perforin and could not be blocked by mannose-6-phosphate. However, GrB-induced neurotoxicity was sensitive to pertussis toxin, implicating the stimulation of Giα protein-coupled receptors. GrB caused a decrease in cAMP levels but only modest increases in intracellular calcium. The effect on intracellular calcium could be markedly potentiated by stromal-derived factor 1α. GrB-induced neurotoxicity could also be blocked by vitamin E and a neuroimmunophilin ligand. In conclusion, GrB may be an important mediator of neuronal injury in T cell-mediated neuroinflammatory disorders.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology