• Experimental allergic encephalomyelitis;
  • Monoclonal antibody therapy;
  • T cell receptor Vβ8.2


The predominance of T cell receptor (TCR) Vβ8.2 utilization by encephalitogenic T cells induced in Lewis rats by immunization with myelin basic protein (MBP) is controversial. Thus, both an almost exclusive usage of Vβ8.2 [Burns, F. R., Li, X., Shen, N., Offner, H., Chou, Y. K., Vandenbark, A. A. and Heber-Katz, E., J. Exp. Med. 1989. 169: 27; Chluba, J., Steeg, C., Becker, A., Wekerle, H. and Epplen, J. T., Eur. J. Immunol. 1989. 19: 279] and a quite diverse Vβ composition of CD4 T cells causing experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) [Sun, D., Gold, P. D., Smith, L., Brostoff, S. and Coleclough, C., Eur. J. Immunol. 1992. 22: 591; Sun, D., Le, J. and Coleclough, C., Eur. J. Immunol. 1993. 23: 494] have been reported. Using a recently developed monoclonal antibody (mAb) specific for TCR Vβ8.2, we show that postnatal treatment effectively eliminates Vβ8.2-bearing cells and prevents MBP-induced EAE in the majority of Lewis rats. Moreover, treatment of adult Lewis rats with Vβ8.2-specific mAb as late as on day 12 after MBP immunization suppressed the development of neurological symptoms. Thus, Vβ8.2-bearing cells do play a decisive role in Lewis rat EAE, and suppression of the small (5%) Vβ8.2-expressing T cell subset provides an effective therapeutic strategy.