Decreased IL-12 Production Underlies the Decreased Ability of Male Lymph Node Cells to Induce Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis
Journal of Immunology
Myelin basic protein (MBP)-specific T lymphocytes from male SJL mice were shown to be less encephalitogenic than MBP-specific T lymphocytes from females. Mechanisms underlying this gender difference in the induction phase of EAE were examined. Following immunization with MBP, draining lymph nodes contained fewer cells, and Ag-specific proliferative responses were decreased in males as compared with females. These gender differences in the proliferative response were not unique to MBP-specific
... sponses since they were also observed after immunization with hen eggwhite lysozyme. Short-term MBP-specific T cell lines derived from females and males mapped with identical specificity, indicating no defect in the ability of male APCs to process Ag. Interestingly, IL-12 and IFN-γ production was decreased following Ag-specific stimulation of draining lymph node cells (LNC) from males as compared with females, but IL-10 and IL-4 were no different. While male-derived LNCs were less encephalitogenic than female derived LNCs, cotransfer and coculture of male LNCs with female LNCs demonstrated that male LNCs were not immunosuppressive. Administration of IL-12 to LNCs from male mice enhanced encephalitogenicity. These data indicate that deficient endogenous IL-12 production within draining LNCs of male SJL mice is central to gender differences in the induction phase of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.