Anti-inflammatory cytokine gene therapy decreases sensory and motor dysfunction in experimental Multiple Sclerosis: MOG-EAE behavioral and anatomical symptom treatment with cytokine gene therapy. Academic Article uri icon


  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune inflammatory disease that presents clinically with a range of symptoms including motor, sensory, and cognitive dysfunction as well as demyelination and lesion formation in brain and spinal cord. A variety of animal models of MS have been developed that share many of the pathological hallmarks of MS including motor deficits (ascending paralysis), demyelination and axonal damage of central nervous system (CNS) tissue. In recent years, neuropathic pain has been recognized as a prevalent symptom of MS in a majority of patients. To date, there have been very few investigations into sensory disturbances in animal models of MS. The current work contains the first assessment of hind paw mechanical allodynia (von Frey test) over the course of a relapsing-remitting myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein induced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (MOG-EAE) rat model of MS and establishes the utility of this model in examining autoimmune induced sensory dysfunction. We demonstrate periods of both decreased responsiveness to touch that precedes the onset of hind limb paralysis, and increased responsiveness (allodynia) that occurs during the period of motor deficit amelioration traditionally referred to as symptom remission. Furthermore, we tested the ability of our recently characterized anti-inflammatory IL-10 gene therapy to treat the autoimmune inflammation induced behavioral symptoms and tissue histopathological changes. This therapy is shown here to reverse inflammation induced paralysis, to reduce disease associated reduction in sensitivity to touch, to prevent the onset of allodynia, to reverse disease associated loss of body weight, and to suppress CNS glial activation associated with disease progression in this model.

publication date

  • January 1, 2009