UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Expression of the neuroprotective protein aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator 2 correlates with neuronal stress and disability in models of multiple sclerosis Rahim, Tissa; Becquart, Pierre; Baeva, Maria-Elizabeth; Quandt, Jacqueline


Background: Axonal degeneration and neuronal loss have been described as the major causes of irreversible clinical disability in multiple sclerosis (MS). The aryl-hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator 2 (ARNT2) protein has been associated with neuroprotection in models of ischemia and neuronal responses to stressors. Methods: To characterize its potential to influence inflammatory neurodegeneration, we examined ARNT2 expression in the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) model of MS and characterized mediators that influence ARNT2 expression as well as plausible partners and targets. Results: Arnt2 message and protein levels dropped significantly in EAE spinal cords as disease developed and were lowest at peak disability. ARNT2 expression is prominent in neuronal cell bodies within the gray matter with some staining in glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)+ astrocytes in healthy animals. At peak disease, ARNT2 expression is reduced by 20–50% in gray matter neurons compared to healthy controls. ARNT2 intensity in neurons throughout the EAE spinal cord correlated inversely with the degree of immune cell infiltration (r = − 0.5085, p 

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