Autoimmune T cells retard the loss of function in injured rat optic nerves

Gila Moalem, Eti Yoles, Raya Leibowitz-Amit, Shir Muller-Gilor, Felix Mor, Irun R. Cohen, Michal Schwartz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We recently demonstrated that autoimmune T cells protect neurons from secondary degeneration after central nervous system (CNS) axotomy in rats. Here we show, using both morphological and electrophysiological analyses, that the neuroprotection is long-lasting and is manifested functionally. After partial crush injury of the rat optic nerve, systemic injection of autoimmune T cells specific to myelin basic protein significantly diminished the loss of retinal ganglion cells and conducting axons, and significantly retarded the loss of the visual response evoked by light stimulation. These results support our challenge to the traditional concept of autoimmunity as always harmful, and suggest that in certain situations T cell autoimmunity may actually be beneficial. It might be possible to employ T cell intervention to slow down functional loss in the injured CNS. (C) 2000 Published by Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-197
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Autoimmunity
  • CNS
  • Injury


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