Background: The effectiveness of T cell vaccination has been demonstrated in a variety of animal models of both induced and spontaneous autoimmune diseases.
Objective: The purpose of this study was to test the T cell vaccination protocol to treat and prevent collagen induced arthritis (CIA) in a rheumatoid arthritis model.
Methods: CIA was induced by an intradermal injection of an artheritogen substance at the right paw of each female Albino rat under ether anesthesia. T cells were achieved from spleens of syngeneic rats that developed full clinical features of CIA. Rats suffering from CIA were divided in case groups (4 rats/group) based on the degrees of their disease and were injected intraperitoneally once with a suspension of T cells to investigate the effects of autoreactive T cells on CIA. To investigate the preventive effects of autoreactive T cells on CIA, 12 normal rats were injected intraperitoneally once either with a suspension of T cells or PBS, respectively. The results were evaluated by clinical observation, histopathological and radiographic findings.
Results: Intraperitoneal inoculation of T cells to rats suffering from CIA, suppressed the development of CIA in case rats in stage 2 of the disease but not the other case rats. Rats who received T cells as prevention, showed the mild signs of disease. Injection of artheritogen substance to the case rats didn’t result in development of CIA but the control rats, showed signs of CIA.
Conclusion: The results of this pilot study demonstrate that CIA presentations and signs can be subsided or suppressed by autoreactive T cells. The vaccination is most effective before onset of the disease and in early phases of CIA. Modifying and improving the protocol using more cases is recommended.