Neuroinflammation as a result of immune cell recruitment into the central nervous system (CNS) is a key pathogenic mechanism of multiple sclerosis (MS). However, current anti-inflammatory interventions depleting immune cells or directly targeting their trafficking into the CNS can have serious side effects, highlighting a need for better immunomodulatory strategies. We detected increased Reelin concentrations in the serum of patients with MS, resulting in increased endothelial permeability to leukocytes through increased nuclear factor κB-mediated expression of vascular adhesion molecules. We thus investigated the prophylactic and therapeutic potential of Reelin immunodepletion in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) and further validated the results in Reelin knockout mice. Removal of plasma Reelin by either approach protected against neuroinflammation and largely abolished the neurological consequences by reducing endothelial permeability and immune cell accumulation in the CNS. Our findings suggest Reelin depletion as a therapeutic approach with an inherent good safety margin for the treatment of MS and other diseases where leukocyte extravasation is a major driver of pathogenicity.
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