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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2016, Article ID 5021537, 13 pages
Research Article

Tolerogenic Dendritic Cells Generated with Tofacitinib Ameliorate Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis through Modulation of Th17/Treg Balance

1Department of Pediatrics and Department of Emergency, West China Second University Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, China
2Department of Immunology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Chengdu Medical College, Chengdu 610083, China

Received 7 September 2016; Accepted 20 November 2016

Academic Editor: Alessandra Santos

Copyright © 2016 Yan Zhou et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


It is well known that dendritic cells (DCs) play a pivotal role in triggering self-specific responses. Conversely, tolerogenic DCs (tolDCs), a specialized subset, induce tolerance and negatively regulate autoreactive responses. Tofacitinib, a Janus kinase inhibitor developed by Pfizer for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, is probable to be a promising candidate for inducing tolDCs. The aims of this study were to evaluate the effectiveness of tolDCs induced by tofacitinib in a myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein- (MOG-) specific experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) model and to investigate their effects on Th17/Treg balance in the animal model of multiple sclerosis (MS). Our results revealed that tofacitinib-treated DCs maintained a steady semimature phenotype with a low level of proinflammatory cytokines and costimulatory molecules. DCs treated by tofacitinib also induced antigen-specific T cells hyporesponsiveness in a concentration-dependent manner. Upon intravenous injection into EAE mice, MOG pulsed tolDCs significantly dampened disease activity, and adoptive cell therapy (ACT) disturbed Th17/Treg balance with a remarkable decrease of Th1/Th17 cells and an increase in regulatory T cells (Tregs). Overall, DCs modified by tofacitinib exhibited a typical tolerogenic phenotype, and the antigen-specific tolDCs may represent a new avenue of research for the development of future clinical treatments for MS.