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Breuer, Johanna; Korpos, Eva; Hannocks, Melanie-Jane; Schneider-Hohendorf, Tilman; Song, Jian; Zondler, Lisa; Herich, Sebastian; Flanagan, Ken; Korn, Thomas; Zarbock, Alexander; Kuhlmann, Tanja; Sorokin, Lydia; Wiendl, Heinz; Schwab, Nicholas (2018): Blockade of MCAM/CD146 impedes CNS infiltration of T cells over the choroid plexus. In: Journal of Neuroinflammation 15:236


Background: Very late antigen 4 (VLA-4;integrin alpha 4 beta 1) is critical for transmigration of T helper (T-H) 1 cells into the central nervous system (CNS) under inflammatory conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS). We have previously shown that VLA-4 and melanoma cell adhesion molecule (MCAM) are important for trans-endothelial migration of human T(H)17 cells in vitro and here investigate their contribution to pathogenic CNS inflammation. Methods: Antibody blockade of VLA-4 and MCAM is assessed in murine models of CNS inflammation in conjunction with conditional ablation of alpha 4-integrin expression in T cells. Effects of VLA-4 and MCAM blockade on lymphocyte migration are further investigated in the human system via in vitro T cell transmigration assays. Results: Compared to the broad effects of VLA-4 blockade on encephalitogenic T cell migration over endothelial barriers, MCAM blockade impeded encephalitogenic T cell migration in murine models of MS that especially depend on CNS migration across the choroid plexus (CP). In transgenic mice lacking T cell alpha 4-integrin expression (CD4::/tga4(-/-)), MCAM blockade delayed disease onset. Migration of MCAM-expressing T cells through the CP into the CNS was restricted, where laminin 411 (composed of alpha 4, beta 1, gamma 1 chains), the proposed major ligand of MCAM, is detected in the endothelial basement membranes of murine CP tissue. This finding was translated to the human system;blockade of MCAM with a therapeutic antibody reduced in vitro transmigration of MCAM-expressing T cells across a human fibroblast-derived extracellular matrix layer and a brain-derived endothelial monolayer, both expressing laminin alpha 4. Larninin alpha 4 was further detected in situ in CP endothelial-basement membranes in MS patients' brain tissue. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that MCAM-laminin 411 interactions facilitate trans-endothelial migration of MCAM-expressing T cells into the CNS, which seems to be highly relevant to migration via the CP and to potential future clinical applications in neuroinflammatory disorders.