Prevention of Murine EAE by Oral Hydrolytic Enzyme Treatment
Targoni O.S., Tary-Lehmann M. and Lehmann P.V.
Institute of Pathology, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44106, USA
Journal of Autoimmunity 1999:12, 191-198
Key words: phlogenzym, enzyme therapy, EAE, accessory molecules, T cell activation threshold
Clinical trials that test the efficacy of Phlogenzym (consisting of the hydrolytic enzymes bromelain and trypsin and the anti-oxidant rutosid) as a treatment for T cell-mediated autoimmune diseases including multiple sclerosis (MS), type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis are presently ongoing. We tested the effects of Phlogenzym treatment in the murine model for MS, experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE), a disease induced in SJL mice by immunization with proteolipid protein (PLP) peptide 139-151. Oral administration of Phlogenzym resulted in complete protection from EAE. In Phlogenzym-treated mice, the dose response curve of the PLP:139-151-specific T cell response was shifted to the right, that is, the primed T cells required higher peptide concentrations to become activated. Additionally, the T cell response to this peptide was shifted towards the T helper 2 cytokine profile. Both effects are consistent with an increased T cell activation threshold. In support of this interpretation, we found that the accessory molecules CD4, CD44, and B7-1 (all of which are involved in T cell co-stimulation) were cleaved by Phlogenzym, while CD3 and MHC class II molecules (which are involved in the recognition of antigens by T cells) and LFA-1 were unaffected. These data show the efficacy of oral Phlogenzym treatment in an animal model of T cell-mediated autoimmune disease and suggest that the protective effect might be the result of an increase in the activation threshold of the autoreactive T lymphocytes brought about by the cleavage of accessory molecules involved in the interaction of T cells and antigen presenting cells.
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