Inhibitory effects of incomplete Freund's adjuvant on experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis

Alex Zamora, Agata Matejuk, Marc Silverman, Arthur A. Vandenbark, Halina Offner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Freund's incomplete adjuvant (IFA), an aqueous/oil emulsion that is widely used in combination with antigenic proteins and peptides to induce tolerance, is considered to be immunologically inert. However, sporadic reports indicate that IFA may itself have inhibitory properties on induction of adjuvant induced arthritis and spontaneous diabetes. In the current study, the effects of IFA/saline were evaluated on the induction of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in three different strains of mice. IFA/saline given i.p. in two doses of >100 μl 10 days apart were found to inhibit EAE induction to varying degrees in all three strains of mice in a dose dependent fashion. The IFA/saline injections inhibited both mitogen and antigen-induced T cell proliferation, induced elevated secretion of IFN-γ and IL-10 by neuroantigen specific T cells, and reduced expression of cytokines, chemokines, and chemokine receptors of CNS-infiltrating mononuclear cells. These data demonstrate for the first time a direct inhibitory effect of IFA/saline on EAE, and re-emphasize the need to properly control experiments using IFA to induce antigen-specific tolerance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-28
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002


  • EAE
  • IFA
  • IL10
  • MBP Ac1-11
  • γINF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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