ITE, a novel endogenous nontoxic aryl hydrocarbon receptor ligand, efficiently suppresses EAU and T-cell-mediated immunity.

Nugent LF1, Shi G, Vistica BP, Ogbeifun O, Hinshaw SJ, Gery I.
Source: Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci
Publication Date: (2013)
Issue: 54(12): 7463-9
Research Area:
Cancer Research/Cell Biology
Basic Research
Culture Media:
PURPOSE: Ligands for aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR), such as dioxins, are highly toxic. One such ligand, TCDD, was found to exert potent immunosuppressive capacities in mice developing pathogenic autoimmune processes, including EAU, but its toxicity makes it unusable for humans. A recently identified endogenous AHR ligand, ITE, is also immunosuppressive, but is nontoxic and could therefore be useful for therapy in humans. Here, we tested ITE for its capacity to inhibit EAU and related immune responses. METHODS: EAU was induced in B10.A mice by immunization with interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein (IRBP; 40 µg) in CFA. Treatment with ITE was by daily intraperitoneal injection of 0.2 mg. Disease severity was assessed by both fundoscopy and histological examination. Draining lymph node cells were tested for proliferation by thymidine uptake and for cytokine production and release by ELISA. In addition, the intracellular expression of cytokines and Foxp3 was determined by flow cytometry. Serum antibodies were measured by ELISA. RESULTS: Treatment with ITE efficiently inhibited the development of EAU in mice, as well as the cellular immune responses against IRBP and PPD. ITE treatment inhibited the expansion of both Th1 and Th17 subpopulations, as well as their release of the signature cytokines, IFN-gamma and IL-17. The treatment moderately increased, however, the proportion of Foxp3 expressing T-regulatory cells. Antibody production was not affected by the treatment. CONCLUSIONS: ITE, an endogenous AHR ligand, efficiently inhibits EAU development and related cellular immune responses. Being nontoxic, ITE may be considered for treatment of pathogenic immunity in humans.