Chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans as novel drivers of leucocyte infiltration in multiple sclerosis.

TitleChondroitin sulfate proteoglycans as novel drivers of leucocyte infiltration in multiple sclerosis.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuteursStephenson, EL, Mishra, MK, Moussienko, D, Laflamme, N, Rivest, S, Ling, C-C, V Yong, W
Date Published2018 Apr 01

Multiple sclerosis presents with profound changes in the network of molecules involved in maintaining central nervous system architecture, the extracellular matrix. The extracellular matrix components, particularly the chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans, have functions beyond structural support including their potential interaction with, and regulation of, inflammatory molecules. To investigate the roles of chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans in multiple sclerosis, we used the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis model in a time course study. We found that the 4-sulfated glycosaminoglycan side chains of chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans, and the core protein of a particular family member, versican V1, were upregulated in the spinal cord of mice at peak clinical severity, correspondent with areas of inflammation. Versican V1 expression in the spinal cord rose progressively over the course of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. A particular structure in the spinal cord and cerebellum that presented with intense upregulation of chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans is the leucocyte-containing perivascular cuff, an important portal of entry of immune cells into the central nervous system parenchyma. In these inflammatory perivascular cuffs, versican V1 and the glycosaminoglycan side chains of chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans were observed by immunohistochemistry within and in proximity to lymphocytes and macrophages as they migrated across the basement membrane into the central nervous system. Expression of versican V1 transcript was also documented in infiltrating CD45+ leucocytes and F4/80+ macrophages by in situ hybridization. To test the hypothesis that the chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans regulate leucocyte mobility, we used macrophages in tissue culture studies. Chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans significantly upregulated pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines in macrophages. Strikingly, and more potently than the toll-like receptor-4 ligand lipopolysaccharide, chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans increased the levels of several members of the matrix metalloproteinase family, which are implicated in the capacity of leucocytes to cross barriers. In support, the migratory capacity of macrophages in vitro in a Boyden chamber transwell assay was enhanced by chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans. Finally, using brain specimens from four subjects with multiple sclerosis with active lesions, we found chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans to be associated with leucocytes in inflammatory perivascular cuffs in all four patients. We conclude that the accumulation of chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans in the perivascular cuff in multiple sclerosis and experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis boosts the activity and migration of leucocytes across the glia limitans into the central nervous system parenchyma. Thus, chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans represent a new class of molecules to overcome in order to reduce the inflammatory cascades and clinical severity of multiple sclerosis.

Alternate JournalBrain
PubMed ID29506186
PubMed Central IDPMC5888970