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Background The activation of mononuclear phagocytes (MPs), including monocytes, macrophages and dendritic cells, contributes to central nervous system inflammation in various neurological diseases. In HTLV-I-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP), MPs are reservoirs of HTLV-I, and induce proinflammatory cytokines and excess T cell responses. The virus-infected or activated MPs may play a role in immuneregulation and disease progression in patients with HTLV-I-associated neurological diseases.
Results Phenotypic analysis of CD14+ monocytes in HAM/TSP patients demonstrated high expression of CX3CR1 and HLA-DR in CD14lowCD16+ monocytes, compared to healthy normal donors (NDs) and asymptomatic carriers (ACs), and the production of TNF-α and IL-1β in cultured CD14+ cells of HAM/TSP patients. CD14+ cells of HAM/TSP patients also showed acceleration of HTLV-I Tax expression in CD4+ T cells. Minocycline, an inhibitor of activated MPs, decreased TNF-α expression in CD14+ cells and IL-1β release in PBMCs of HAM/TSP patients. Minocycline significantly inhibited spontaneous lymphoproliferation and degranulation/IFN-γ expression in CD8+ T cells of HAM/TSP patients. Treatment of minocycline also inhibited IFN-γ expression in CD8+ T cells of HAM/TSP patients after Tax11-19 stimulation and downregulated MHC class I expression in CD14+ cells.
Conclusion These results demonstrate that minocycline directly inhibits the activated MPs and that the downregulation of MP function can modulate CD8+ T cells function in HAM/TSP patients. It is suggested that activated MPs may be a therapeutic target for clinical intervention in HAM/TSP.
© 2012 Enose-Akahata et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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VCU Neurology Publications