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ISSN: 1641-4640
Folia Neuropathologica
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vol. 61
Original paper

Osteopontin expression and the effect of anti-VLA-4 mAb treatment in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, a mouse model of multiple sclerosis

Grażyna Pyka-Fościak
Jan A. Litwin
Grzegorz J. Lis

Department of Histology, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland
Folia Neuropathol 2023; 61 (2): 129-137
Online publish date: 2023/07/12
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Osteopontin (OPN) is involved in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis and its animal model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). The aim of this study was to investigate the expression of OPN in spinal cords of mice in the successive phases of EAE, to compare it with the density of inflammatory cells, oligodendrocytes and with the expression of interleukin (IL)-17A and to assess the effect of anti-α4β1 integrin (VLA-4) treatment.

Material and methods:
Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) mice were injected with anti-VLA-4 antibodies or, as treatment control, with immunoglobulin G (IgG). Spinal cords were sectioned and immunostained for OPN, CD45 (overall leukocytes), CD3 (T cells), Iba1 (activated macrophages/microglia), IL-17A, and CNP1 (oligodendrocytes). Microscopic images were analysed and the percentage of immunopositive areas encompassing the whole spinal cord cross-sectional area were assessed in images for each antigen.

Osteopontin was expressed by inflammatory cells and by a minority of neurons and blood vessels. Most of the studied parameters followed the temporal pattern of clinical scores: increase in the peak phase and decrease in the chronic phase. Only OPN and IL-17A remained at a high level in the chronic phase, while CNP1 expression gradually decreased in the successive phases. Anti-VLA-4 treatment lowered the expression of the studied antigens in the peak and chronic phases with the exception of oligodendrocyte marker CNP1 which in both phases showed an increased expression.

Involvement of OPN is particularly significant in advanced EAE. Anti-VLA-4 treatment not only inhibits migration of myelin-reactive T cells, but also downregulates OPN and inhibits loss of oligodendrocytes.


osteopontin, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), multiple sclerosis, inflammation, oligodendrocytes

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