IL-1β is a proinflammatory mediator with roles in innate and adaptive immunity. Here we show that IL-1β contributes to autoimmune arthritis by inducing osteoclastogenic capacity in Tregs. Using mice with joint inflammation arising through deficiency of the IL-1 receptor antagonist (Il1rn–/–), we observed that IL-1β blockade attenuated disease more effectively in early arthritis than in established arthritis, especially with respect to bone erosion. Protection was accompanied by a reduction in synovial CD4+Foxp3+ Tregs that displayed preserved suppressive capacity and aerobic metabolism but aberrant expression of RANKL and a striking capacity to drive RANKL-dependent osteoclast differentiation. Both Il1rn–/– Tregs and wild-type Tregs differentiated with IL-1β accelerated bone erosion upon adoptive transfer. Human Tregs exhibited analogous differentiation, and corresponding RANKLhiFoxp3+ T cells could be identified in rheumatoid arthritis synovial tissue. Together, these findings identify IL-1β–induced osteoclastogenic Tregs as a contributor to bone erosion in arthritis.
Anaïs Levescot, Margaret H. Chang, Julia Schnell, Nathan Nelson-Maney, Jing Yan, Marta Martínez-Bonet, Ricardo Grieshaber-Bouyer, Pui Y. Lee, Kevin Wei, Rachel B. Blaustein, Allyn Morris, Alexandra Wactor, Yoichiro Iwakura, James A. Lederer, Deepak A. Rao, Julia F. Charles, Peter A. Nigrovic