TCR1640 mice, which have a T cell receptor (TCR) directed against MOG92–106, spontaneously develop experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Female mice mostly develop a relapsing-remitting (RR) course and have a higher incidence of disease, while males most frequently suffer from progressive disease, reflecting the unresolved clinical sex discrepancies seen in multiple sclerosis. Herein, we performed adoptive transfers of male and female TCR1640 immune cells into WT animals to investigate if disease course is dependent on the sex of the donor immune cells or on the sex of the recipient animal. We found that transfer of female TCR1640 immune cells led to a RR disease while transfer of male TCR1640 immune cells led to a progressive course, independent of the sex of the recipient. In addition, regulatory and pathogenic T cell infiltration after transfer was also immune cell sex intrinsic. We performed genetic profiling of the donor immune cells and found significant differences between the transcriptomic profiles of male and female TCR1640 immune cells, interestingly, within genes related to immune regulation of T lymphocytes. These results suggest that differences in gene expression profiles related to regulation of T cell immunity seen in male and female neuroinflammatory disease drive relapsing versus progressive disease course.
Tessa Dhaeze, Catherine Lachance, Laurence Tremblay, Camille Grasmuck, Lyne Bourbonnière, Sandra Larouche, Olivia Saint-Laurent, Marc-André Lécuyer, Rose-Marie Rébillard, Stephanie Zandee, Alexandre Prat