Eukaryotic expression of the broad-spectrum chemokine receptor antagonist vMIP-II and its effects on T-cell function in vitro and in vivo

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Pro-inflammatory chemokines and their receptors exhibit elementary functions in cell migration and in Th1-driven inflammatory conditions. One therapeutic strategy to prevent accumulation of pro-inflammatory immune cells is the use of specific chemokine receptor antagonists. An interesting and promising candidate in this context is the viral antagonist MIP-II (vMIP-II) that acts on a broad spectrum of chemokine receptors. To study the in vitro and in vivo effects of vMIP-II on pro-inflammatory chemokine receptor function, we further characterized an ovalbumin-specific murine central memory Th1IF12 clone by using RT-PCR, cDNA array and cytometry. Using in vitro chemotaxis assays we show that eukaryotically generated vMIP-II strongly inhibited migration of CCL2- or CCL5-stimulated Th1 IF12 cells. Using intravital microscopy, we observed that CCL5 induced rolling of Th1 cells in the ear vasculature of C57Bl/6 mice. Pre-treatment with vMIP-II significantly reduced CCL5-induced rolling of Th1 cells to basal levels, indicating, that vMIP-II is also active in vivo (proportion of rolling cells: 19.4 ± 3.8%, 39.8 ± 2.9% and 26.1 ± 3.2%). In addition, investigating the anti-inflammatory action of vMIP-II in adoptive transfer of immunity and dinitrofluorobenzene-induced cutaneous hypersensitivity reaction using C57Bl/6 mice, we show a direct inhibitory effect of vMIP-II on the sensitization phase [Δ ear swelling 62 and 37 cm × 10−3 for controls and vMIP-II treated mice (2.5 mg/kg), respectively] and effector phase (Δ ear swelling 14.8 and 3.6 cm × 10−3 for controls and vMIP-II treated mice (2.5 mg/kg), respectively) of cutaneous hypersensitivity. These data indicate that vMIP-II is a promising agent to interfere with chronic inflammatory (skin) diseases.

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