Genetic variations in the ITGAM gene (encoding CD11b) strongly associate with risk for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Here we have shown that 3 nonsynonymous ITGAM variants that produce defective CD11b associate with elevated levels of type I interferon (IFN-I) in lupus, suggesting a direct link between reduced CD11b activity and the chronically increased inflammatory status in patients. Treatment with the small-molecule CD11b agonist LA1 led to partial integrin activation, reduced IFN-I responses in WT but not CD11b-deficient mice, and protected lupus-prone MRL/Lpr mice from end-organ injury. CD11b activation reduced TLR-dependent proinflammatory signaling in leukocytes and suppressed IFN-I signaling via an AKT/FOXO3/IFN regulatory factor 3/7 pathway. TLR-stimulated macrophages from CD11B SNP carriers showed increased basal expression of IFN regulatory factor 7 (IRF7) and IFN-β, as well as increased nuclear exclusion of FOXO3, which was suppressed by LA1-dependent activation of CD11b. This suggests that pharmacologic activation of CD11b could be a potential mechanism for developing SLE therapeutics.
Mohd Hafeez Faridi, Samia Q. Khan, Wenpu Zhao, Ha Won Lee, Mehmet M. Altintas, Kun Zhang, Vinay Kumar, Andrew R. Armstrong, Carmelo Carmona-Rivera, Jessica M. Dorschner, Abigail M. Schnaith, Xiaobo Li, Yogita Ghodke-Puranik, Erica Moore, Monica Purmalek, Jorge Irizarry-Caro, Tingting Zhang, Rachael Day, Darren Stoub, Victoria Hoffmann, Shehryar Jehangir Khaliqdina, Prachal Bhargava, Ana M. Santander, Marta Torroella-Kouri, Biju Issac, David J. Cimbaluk, Andrew Zloza, Rajeev Prabhakar, Shashank Deep, Meenakshi Jolly, Kwi Hye Koh, Jonathan S. Reichner, Elizabeth M. Bradshaw, JianFeng Chen, Luis F. Moita, Peter S. Yuen, Wanxia Li Tsai, Bhupinder Singh, Jochen Reiser, Swapan K. Nath, Timothy B. Niewold, Roberto I. Vazquez-Padron, Mariana J. Kaplan, Vineet Gupta