Cerebrospinal fluid-targeted delivery of neutralizing anti-IFN gamma antibody delays motor decline in an ALS mouse model
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the selective and gradual loss of motoneurons in the brain and spinal cord. A persistent inflammation, typified by the activation of astrocytes and microglia, accompanies the progressive degeneration of motoneurons. Interferon gamma (IFN), a potent proinflammatory cytokine that is aberrantly present in the spinal cord of ALS mice and patients, has been proposed to contribute to motoneuron death by eliciting the activation of the lymphotoxin- receptor (LT-R) through its ligand LIGHT. However, the implication of IFN in the pathogenic process remains elusive. Here, we show that an antagonistic anti-IFN antibody efficiently rescues motoneurons from IFN-induced death. When transiently delivered in the cerebrospinal fluid through a subcutaneously implanted osmotic minipump, the neutralizing anti-IFN antibody significantly retarded motor function decline in a mouse model of ALS. However, this transient infusion of anti-IFN antibody did not increase the life expectancy of ALS mice. Our results suggest that IFN contributes to ALS pathogenesis and represents a potential therapeutic target for ALS. (C) 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health vertical bar Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.