ALA (α-lipoic acid) is a natural, endogenous antioxidant that acts as a PPAR-γ (peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptor-γ) agonist to counteract oxidative stress. Thus far, the antioxidative and immunomodulatory effects of ALA on EAE (experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis) are not well understood. In this study, we found that ALA restricts the infiltration of inflammatory cells into the CNS (central nervous system) in MOG (myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein)-EAE mice, thus reducing the disease severity. In addition, we revealed that ALA significantly suppresses the number and percentage of encephalitogenic Th1 and Th17 cells and increases splenic Treg-cells (regulatory T-cells). Strikingly, we further demonstrated that ALA induces endogenous PPAR-γ centrally and peripherally but has no effect on HO-1 (haem oxygenase 1). Together, these data suggest that ALA can up-regulate endogenous systemic and central PPAR-γ and enhance systemic Treg-cells to inhibit the inflammatory response and ameliorate MOG-EAE. In conclusion, our data provide the first evidence that ALA can augment the production of PPAR-γ in vivo and modulate adaptive immunity both centrally and peripherally in EAE and may reveal further antioxidative and immunomodulatory mechanisms for the application of ALA in human MS (multiple sclerosis).
α-Lipoic acid enhances endogenous peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptor-γ to ameliorate experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in mice
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Kai-Chen Wang, Ching-Piao Tsai, Chao-Lin Lee, Shao-Yuan Chen, Gu-Jiun Lin, Mao-Hsiung Yen, Huey-Kang Sytwu, Shyi-Jou Chen; α-Lipoic acid enhances endogenous peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptor-γ to ameliorate experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in mice. Clin Sci (Lond) 1 October 2013; 125 (7): 329–340. doi: https://doi.org/10.1042/CS20120560
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