SOD1G93A transgenic mouse CD4+ T cells mediate neuroprotection after facial nerve axotomy when removed from a suppressive peripheral microenvironment

Nichole A. Mesnard-Hoaglin, Junping Xin, Melissa M. Haulcomb, Richard J. Batka, Virginia M. Sanders, Kathryn J. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease involving motoneuron (MN) axonal withdrawal and cell death. Previously, we established that facial MN (FMN) survival levels in the SOD1G93A transgenic mouse model of ALS are reduced and nerve regeneration is delayed, similar to immunodeficient RAG2-/- mice, after facial nerve axotomy. The objective of this study was to examine the functionality of SOD1G93A splenic microenvironment, focusing on CD4+ T cells, with regard to defects in immune-mediated neuroprotection of injured MN. We utilized the RAG2-/- and SOD1G93A mouse models, along with the facial nerve axotomy paradigm and a variety of cellular adoptive transfers, to assess immune-mediated neuroprotection of FMN survival levels. We determined that adoptively transferred SOD1G93A unfractionated splenocytes into RAG2-/- mice were unable to support FMN survival after axotomy, but that adoptive transfer of isolated SOD1G93A CD4+ T cells could. Although WT unfractionated splenocytes adoptively transferred into SOD1G93A mice were able to maintain FMN survival levels, WT CD4+ T cells alone could not. Importantly, these results suggest that SOD1G93A CD4+ T cells retain neuroprotective functionality when removed from a dysfunctional SOD1G93A peripheral splenic microenvironment. These results also indicate that the SOD1G93A central nervous system microenvironment is able to re-activate CD4+ T cells for immune-mediated neuroprotection when a permissive peripheral microenvironment exists. We hypothesize that a suppressive SOD1G93A peripheral splenic microenvironment may compromise neuroprotective CD4+ T cell activation and/or differentiation, which, in turn, results in impaired immune-mediated neuroprotection for MN survival after peripheral axotomy in SOD1G93A mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-60
Number of pages6
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • ALS
  • APC
  • Axotomy
  • Immune
  • Motoneuron
  • SOD1
  • T cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Medicine(all)

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