Autoimmunity and macrophage recruitment into the central nervous system (CNS) are critical determinants of neuroinflammatory diseases. However, the mechanisms that drive immunological responses targeted to the CNS remain largely unknown.
Researchers show that fibrinogen, a central blood coagulation protein deposited in the CNS after blood–brain barrier disruption, induces encephalitogenic adaptive immune responses and peripheral macrophage recruitment into the CNS leading to demyelination.
Fibrinogen stimulates a unique transcriptional signature in CD11b+antigen-presenting cells inducing the recruitment and local CNS activation of myelin antigen-specific Th1 cells.
Fibrinogen depletion reduces Th1 cells in the multiple sclerosis model, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.
Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) II-dependent antigen presentation, CXCL10- and CCL2-mediated recruitment of T cells and macrophages, respectively, are required for fibrinogen-induced encephalomyelitis. Inhibition of the fibrinogen receptor CD11b/CD18 protects from all immune and neuropathologic effects.
These results show that the final product of the coagulation cascade is a key determinant of CNS autoimmunity.