We examined T cells isolated from an autoimmune tissue lesion and from lymphoid organs for their ability to secrete tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and to adhere to extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. CD4+ T cells were obtained from spleens, popliteal lymph nodes, and spinal cords of Lewis rats that had been immunized with myelin basic protein (MBP) to induce experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). We now report that, irrespective of whether or not the T cells were activated with MBP or the T cell mitogen concanavalin A (ConA), the T cells isolated from the spinal cord lesions secreted greater amounts of TNF-α and adhered better to ECM than did T cells from the draining lymph node. Thus, the lesions of EAE concentrate a subpopulation of CD4+ T cells with enhanced ability to interact with blood vessel wall components and to secrete TNF-α.
- Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis
- Extracellular matrix
- Spinal cord
- T cell
- Tumor necrosis factor-α