CD200 is a membrane glycoprotein that suppresses immune activity via its receptor, CD200R. CD200-CD200R interactions have recently been considered to contribute to the "immune privileged" status of the central nervous system (CNS). The mechanisms by which these interactions take place are not well understood in part because there is limited detailed information on the distribution of CD200 and CD200R in the CNS. Here, we used immunohistochemistry to characterize the distinct anatomical and cellular distribution of these molecules in multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions and controls. CD200 was robustly expressed in gray matter areas including the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, striatum, cerebellum, and spinal cord, where neurons appeared immunopositive. CD200 expression was also detected in oligodendrocytes, but not in astrocytes or microglia. In CNS samples from MS patients, CD200 expression was additionally observed on reactive astrocytes in chronic active plaque centers, despite our previous finding of an overall decrease ofCD200 expression in MS lesions. In contrast to CD200, the immunolocalization pattern of CD200R was very distinct, showing high expression on perivascular macrophages in both gray and white matter. Using flow cytometry, we also found that human primary microglia express low levels of CD200R. These data suggest that CD200-mediated immune suppression may occur not only via neuron-microglia interactions, but also via glia-glia interactions, especially in inflammatory conditions in which an immune-suppressive environment needs to be restored; this may occur as a result of increased CD200 expression on reactive astrocytes. © 2009 by the American Association of Neuropathologists, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1159-1167
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009

    Research areas

  • CD200-CD200R, Glia-glia interaction, Immune inhibition, Immune privilege, Multiple sclerosis, Neuron-glia interaction

ID: 382971