Neutrophils amplify inflammation in lupus through the release of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). The endoplasmic reticulum stress sensor inositol-requiring enzyme 1 α (IRE1α) has been implicated as a perpetuator of inflammation in various chronic diseases; however, IRE1α has been little studied in relation to neutrophil function or lupus pathogenesis. Here, we found that neutrophils activated by lupus-derived immune complexes demonstrated markedly increased IRE1α ribonuclease activity. Importantly, in neutrophils isolated from patients with lupus, we also detected heightened IRE1α activity that was correlated with global disease activity. Immune complex–stimulated neutrophils produced both mitochondrial ROS (mitoROS) and the activated form of caspase-2 in an IRE1α-dependent fashion, whereas inhibition of IRE1α mitigated immune complex–mediated NETosis (in both human neutrophils and a mouse model of lupus). Administration of an IRE1α inhibitor to lupus-prone MRL/lpr mice over 8 weeks reduced mitoROS levels in peripheral blood neutrophils, while also restraining plasma cell expansion and autoantibody formation. In summary, these data identify a role for IRE1α in the hyperactivity of lupus neutrophils and show that this pathway is upstream of mitochondrial dysfunction, mitoROS formation, and NETosis. We believe that inhibition of the IRE1α pathway is a novel strategy for neutralizing NETosis in lupus, and potentially other inflammatory conditions.
Gautam Sule, Basel H. Abuaita, Paul A. Steffes, Andrew T. Fernandes, Shanea K. Estes, Craig Dobry, Deepika Pandian, Johann E. Gudjonsson, J. Michelle Kahlenberg, Mary X. O’Riordan, Jason S. Knight
Guidelines: The Editorial Board will only consider letters that we deem relevant and of interest to our readers. We will not post data that have not been subjected to peer review, nor will we post letters that are essentially a reiteration of another letter. We reserve the right to edit any letter for length, content, and clarity. Authors will be notified by e-mail if their letters were accepted. No appeals will be considered.
Specific requirements: All letters must be 400 words or fewer. You may enter the letter as plain text or HTML. The author's name and e-mail address are required, and will be posted with the letter. All possible conflicts of interest must be noted, even if they are not posted. If you wish to include a figure (keep in mind that non-peer-reviewed data will not be posted), please contact the editors directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.