The OX-40 protein was selectively upregulated on encephalitogenic myelin basic protein (MBP)-specific T cells at the site of inflammation during the onset of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). An OX-40 immunotoxin was used to target and eliminate MBP-specific T cells within the central nervous system without affecting peripheral T cells. When injected in vivo, the OX-40 immunotoxin bound exclusively to myelin-reactive T cells isolated from the CNS, which resulted in amelioration of EAE. Expression of the human OX-40 antigen was also found in peripheral blood of patients with acute graft-versus-host disease and the synovia of patients with rheumatoid arthritis during active disease. The unique expression of the OX-40 molecule may provide a novel therapeutic strategy for eliminating autoreactive CD4+ T cells that does not require prior knowledge of the pathogenic autoantigen.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)