Variable effects of cyclophosphamide in rodent models of experimental allergic encephalomyelitis


F. Nicoletti, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Via Androne n.83, 95124 Catania, Italy.


In this study, we have evaluated the effects of cyclophosphamide on the development of experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) in four EAE rodent models: monophasic EAE in Lewis rats, protracted relapsing (PR)-EAE in DA rats, myelin oligodendrocyte protein (MOG)-induced EAE in C57Bl/6 mice and proteolipid protein (PLP)-induced EAE in Swiss/Jackson Laboratory (SJL) mice. Cyclophosphamide, administered either prophylactically or therapeutically, suppressed most strongly the clinical symptoms of PR-EAE in DA rats. Treated rats in this group also exhibited the lowest degree of inflammatory infiltration of the spinal cord, as well as the lowest levels of nuclear factor kappa B, interleukin-12 and interferon-gamma. Cyclophosphamide prophylactically, but not therapeutically, also delayed significantly the onset of EAE in Lewis rats. In contrast, regardless of the treatment regimen used, was unable to influence the clinical course of EAE in either MOG-induced EAE in C57Bl/6 mice or PLP-induced EAE in SJL mice. This heterogeneous pharmacological response to cyclophosphamide suggests that significant immunopathogenic differences exist among these EAE rodent models that must be considered when designing preclinical studies. In addition, the effectiveness of cyclophosphamide in dark Agouti (DA) rats with PR-EAE suggests that this may be a particularly useful model for studying novel therapeutic approaches for refractory and rapidly worsening multiple sclerosis in human patients.