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Inflammatory infiltration has been recently emphasized in the demyelinating diseases of the central nervous system including multiple sclerosis. β-1,4-Galactosyltransferase I (β-1,4-GalT-I) is a major galactosyltransferase responsible for selectin-ligand biosynthesis, mediating rolling of the inflammatory lymphocytes. In the present study, Western blot showed that expression of β-1,4-GalT-I was low in normal or complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) control rats' spinal cords, and it began to increase since early stage and peaked at E4 stage of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) and restored approximately at normal level in the recovery stage. Immunohistochemisty revealed that upregulation of β-1,4-GalT-I was predominantly distributed in the white matter of spinal cord , while there was also some increased staining of β-1,4-GalT-I in the grey matter. Meanwhile, the expression of E-selectin, the substrate of β-1,4-GalT-I, was significantly increased, with a peak at E4 stage of EAE, and gradually decreased thereafter. Lectin blot showed that the protein bands with molecular weights of 65-25 kDa reacted a remarkable increase at the peak stage of EAE when compared with the normal and CFA control. Ricinus Communis Agglutinin-I (RCA-I) histochemistry revealed that RCA-Ι-positive signals were most intense in white matter of lumbosacral spinal cord at the peak stage of EAE (E4). Immunohistochemistry showed that β-1,4-GalT-I and CD62E, a marker for E-selectin stainings located in a considerable number of ED1 (+) macrophages in perivascular or in the white matter in EAE lesions, and a good co-localization of ED1 (+) cells with CD62E was observed. All these results suggest that β-1,4-GalT-I might serve as an inflammatory mediator regulating adhesion and migration of inflammatory cells in EAE, possibly through influencing the modification of galactosylated carbohydrate chains to modulate selectin-ligand biosynthesis and interaction with E-selectin.


Jianmei Zhao, Ying Gao, Chun Cheng, Meijuan Yan, Jian Wang. Upregulation of β-1,4-galactosyltransferase I in rat spinal cord with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Journal of molecular neuroscience : MN. 2013 Mar;49(3):437-45

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PMID: 22706684

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