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Experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system with many similarities to multiple sclerosis. The main effector cells involved are CD4+ T cells, recognizing encephalitogenic epitopes within the central nervous system, and macrophages, both of which secrete proinflammatory cytokines, such as IFN-gamma and TNF. Studies have shown that immunomodulation of this inflammatory response by anti-inflammatory cytokines (IL-4, IL-10, IFN-beta, and TGF-beta) can reduce clinical severity in EAE. The importance of TNF in EAE has been demonstrated by using soluble TNF-receptor molecules to inhibit EAE. However, the limitation of this type of therapy is the necessity for frequent administration of cytokine proteins due to their short biologic half-life. This study demonstrates that EAE can be inhibited by a single injection of therapeutic cytokine (IL-4, IFN-beta, and TGF-beta) DNA-cationic liposome complex directly into the central nervous system. DNA coding for a novel, dimeric form of human p75 TNF receptor also ameliorated clinical EAE. Local administration of DNA-cationic liposome complex has identified gene targets that may be more efficiently exploited using vectors producing more stable expression for effective treatment of neuroimmunologic disease.


Journal article


J Immunol

Publication Date





5181 - 5187


Animals, Brain, Cytokines, DNA, Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental, Genetic Therapy, Immunohistochemistry, Interferon-beta, Liposomes, Male, Mice, Plasmids