Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) T cells express high levels of cAMP response element modulator (CREM) that binds to the IL-2 promoter and represses the transcription of the IL-2 gene. This study was designed to identify pathways that lead to increased binding of CREM to the IL-2 promoter in SLE T cells. Ca2+/calmodulin–dependent kinase IV (CaMKIV) was found to be increased in the nucleus of SLE T cells and to be involved in the overexpression of CREM and its binding to the IL-2 promoter. Treatment of normal T cells with SLE serum resulted in increased expression of CREM protein, increased binding of CREM to the IL-2 promoter, and decreased IL-2 promoter activity and IL-2 production. This process was abolished when a dominant inactive form of CaMKIV was expressed in normal T cells. The effect of SLE serum resided within the IgG fraction and was specifically attributed to anti–TCR/CD3 autoantibodies. This study identifies CaMKIV as being responsible for the increased expression of CREM and the decreased production of IL-2 in SLE T cells and demonstrates that anti–TCR/CD3 antibodies present in SLE sera can account for the increased expression of CREM and the suppression of IL-2 production.
Yuang-Taung Juang, Ying Wang, Elena E. Solomou, Yansong Li, Christian Mawrin, Klaus Tenbrock, Vasileios C. Kyttaris, George C. Tsokos
Herpesvirus entry mediator (HVEM), a TNF receptor superfamily member, has been previously described as a T cell costimulatory receptor. Surprisingly, HVEM–/– T cells showed enhanced responses to in vitro concanavalin A (ConA) stimulation when compared with WT T cells. Consistent with these findings, HVEM–/– mice exhibited increased morbidity and mortality as compared with WT mice in a model of ConA-mediated T cell–dependent autoimmune hepatitis. HVEM–/– mice produced higher levels of multiple cytokines, which were dependent on the presence of CD4+ T cells. Furthermore, HVEM–/– mice were more susceptible to MOG peptide–induced experimental autoimmune encephalopathy, and they showed increased T cell proliferation and cytokine production in response to antigen-specific challenge. Taken together, our data revealed an unexpected regulatory role of HVEM in T cell–mediated immune responses and autoimmune diseases.
Yang Wang, Sumit K. Subudhi, Robert A. Anders, James Lo, Yonglian Sun, Sarah Blink, Yugang Wang, Jing Wang, Xiaojuan Liu, Karin Mink, Daniel Degrandi, Klaus Pfeffer, Yang-Xin Fu
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease characterized by pathogenic autoantibodies against nucleoproteins and DNA. Here we show that DNA-containing immune complexes (ICs) within lupus serum (SLE-ICs), but not protein-containing ICs from other autoimmune rheumatic diseases, stimulates plasmacytoid DCs (PDCs) to produce cytokines and chemokines via a cooperative interaction between Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) and FcγRIIa (CD32). SLE-ICs transiently colocalized to a subcellular compartment containing CD32 and TLR9, and CD32+, but not CD32–, PDCs internalized and responded to SLE-ICs. Our findings demonstrate a novel functional interaction between Fc receptors and TLRs, defining a pathway in which CD32 delivers SLE-ICs to intracellular lysosomes containing TLR9, inducing a signaling cascade leading to PDC activation. These data demonstrate that endogenous DNA-containing autoantibody complexes found in the serum of patients with SLE activate the innate immune system and suggest a novel mechanism whereby these ICs contribute to the pathogenesis of this autoimmune disease.
Terry K. Means, Eicke Latz, Fumitaka Hayashi, Mandakolathur R. Murali, Douglas T. Golenbock, Andrew D. Luster
We document here that infection of prediabetic mice with a virus expressing an H-2Kb–restricted mimic ligand to a self epitope present on β cells accelerates the development of autoimmune diabetes. Immunization with the mimic ligand expanded autoreactive T cell populations, which was followed by their trafficking to the islets, as visualized in situ by tetramer staining. In contrast, the mimic ligand did not generate sufficient autoreactive T cells in naive mice to initiate disease. Diabetes acceleration did not occur in H-2Kb–deficient mice or in mice tolerized to the mimic ligand. Thus, arenavirus-expressed mimics of self antigens accelerate a previously established autoimmune process. Sequential heterologous viral infections might therefore act in concert to precipitate clinical autoimmune disease, even if single exposure to a viral mimic does not always cause sufficient tissue destruction.
Urs Christen, Kurt H. Edelmann, Dorian B. McGavern, Tom Wolfe, Bryan Coon, Meghann K. Teague, Stephen D. Miller, Michael B.A. Oldstone, Matthias G. von Herrath
The development of autoimmune diabetes in the nonobese diabetic (NOD) mouse results from a breakdown in tolerance to pancreatic islet antigens. CD28-B7 and CD40 ligand–CD40 (CD40L-CD40) costimulatory pathways affect the development of disease and are promising therapeutic targets. Indeed, it was shown previously that diabetes fails to develop in NOD–B7-2–/– and NOD-CD40L–/– mice. In this study, we examined the relative role of these 2 costimulatory pathways in the balance of autoimmunity versus regulation in NOD mice. We demonstrate that initiation but not effector function of autoreactive T cells was defective in NOD–B7-2–/– mice. Moreover, the residual proliferation of the autoreactive cells was effectively controlled by CD28-dependent CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells (Treg’s), as depletion of Treg’s partially restored proliferation of autoreactive T cells and resulted in diabetes in an adoptive-transfer model. Similarly, disruption of the CD28-B7 pathway and subsequent Treg deletion restored autoimmunity in NOD-CD40L–/– mice. These results demonstrate that development of diabetes is dependent on a balance of pathogenic and regulatory T cells that is controlled by costimulatory signals. Thus, elimination of Treg’s results in diabetes even in the absence of costimulation, which suggests a need for alternative strategies for immunotherapeutic approaches.
Hélène Bour-Jordan, Benoît L. Salomon, Heather L. Thompson, Gregory L. Szot, Matthew R. Bernhard, Jeffrey A. Bluestone
Anti-C1q autoantibodies are present in sera of patients with several autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Strikingly, in SLE the presence of anti-C1q is associated with the occurrence of nephritis. We have generated mouse anti–mouse C1q mAb’s and used murine models to investigate whether anti-C1q autoantibodies actually contribute to renal pathology in glomerular immune complex disease. Administration of anti-C1q mAb JL-1, which recognizes the collagen-like region of C1q, resulted in glomerular deposition of C1q and anti-C1q autoantibodies and mild granulocyte influx, but no overt renal damage. However, combination of JL-1 with a subnephritogenic dose of C1q-fixing anti–glomerular basement membrane (anti-GBM) antibodies enhanced renal damage characterized by persistently increased levels of infiltrating granulocytes, major histological changes, and increased albuminuria. This was not observed when a non–C1q-fixing anti-GBM preparation was used. Experiments with different knockout mice showed that renal damage was dependent not only on glomerular C1q and complement activation but also on Fcγ receptors. In conclusion, anti-C1q autoantibodies deposit in glomeruli together with C1q but induce overt renal disease only in the context of glomerular immune complex disease. This provides an explanation why anti-C1q antibodies are especially pathogenic in patients with SLE.
Leendert A. Trouw, Tom W.L. Groeneveld, Marc A. Seelen, Jacques M.G.J. Duijs, Ingeborg M. Bajema, Frans A. Prins, Uday Kishore, David J. Salant, J. Sjef Verbeek, Cees van Kooten, Mohamed R. Daha
Cytokines play key roles in spontaneous CD4+ T cell–mediated chronic autoimmune arthritis in SKG mice, a new model of rheumatoid arthritis. Genetic deficiency in IL-6 completely suppressed the development of arthritis in SKG mice, irrespective of the persistence of circulating rheumatoid factor. Either IL-1 or TNF-α deficiency retarded the onset of arthritis and substantially reduced its incidence and severity. IL-10 deficiency, on the other hand, exacerbated disease, whereas IL-4 or IFN-γ deficiency did not alter the disease course. Synovial fluid of arthritic SKG mice contained high amounts of IL-6, TNF-α, and IL-1, in accord with active transcription of these cytokine genes in the afflicted joints. Notably, immunohistochemistry revealed that distinct subsets of synovial cells produced different cytokines in the inflamed synovium: the superficial synovial lining cells mainly produced IL-1 and TNF-α, whereas scattered subsynovial cells produced IL-6. Thus, IL-6, IL-1, TNF-α, and IL-10 play distinct roles in the development of SKG arthritis; arthritogenic CD4+ T cells are not required to skew to either Th1 or Th2; and the appearance of rheumatoid factor is independent of joint inflammation. The results also indicate that targeting not only each cytokine but also each cell population secreting distinct cytokines could be an effective treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
Hiroshi Hata, Noriko Sakaguchi, Hiroyuki Yoshitomi, Yoichiroh Iwakura, Kenji Sekikawa, Yoshiaki Azuma, Chieko Kanai, Eiko Moriizumi, Takashi Nomura, Takashi Nakamura, Shimon Sakaguchi
SAMP1/YitFc mice develop discontinuous, transmural inflammatory lesions in the terminal ileum, similar to what is found in human Crohn disease. Compared with the mesenteric lymph nodes (MLNs) of AKR control mice, SAMP1/YitFc MLNs contain a 4.3-fold expansion in total B cell number and a 2.5-fold increased percentage of CD4+ T cells expressing the αEβ7 integrin. Although αEβ7+CD4+ T cells possess a regulatory phenotype (CD25+, L-selectinlo, and CD45RBlo), express IL-10, and suppress effector T cell proliferation in vitro, they cannot prevent ileitis development in SCID mice adoptively transferred with effector CD4+ T cells, although the CD4+CD25+ subset, which overlaps with the αEβ7+CD4+ subset, prevents colitis. The αEβ7+CD4+ T cells express high levels of ICOS, a costimulatory molecule that augments B cell function, suggesting their involvement in the increase in B cells, IgA+ cells, and soluble IgA found within the MLNs and ileum of SAMP1/YitFc mice. MLN B cell numbers correlate with ileitis severity in SAMP1/YitFc mice, and cotransfer of SAMP1/YitFc MLN B cells along with CD4+ T cells increases ileitis severity in SCID mice compared with transfer of CD4+ T cells alone. SAMP1/YitFc B cells prevent αEβ7+CD4+ T cells from suppressing effector T cell proliferation. We conclude that SAMP1/YitFc MLN B cells contribute to the development of SAMP1/YitFc ileitis.
Timothy S. Olson, Giorgos Bamias, Makoto Naganuma, Jesús Rivera-Nieves, Tracy L. Burcin, William Ross, Margaret A. Morris, Theresa T. Pizarro, Peter B. Ernst, Fabio Cominelli, Klaus Ley
The molecular pathogenesis of focal/diffuse proliferative lupus glomerulonephritis was studied by cDNA microarray analysis of gene expression in glomeruli from clinical biopsies. Transcriptional phenotyping of glomeruli isolated by laser-capture microscopy revealed considerable kidney-to-kidney heterogeneity in increased transcript expression, resulting in four main gene clusters that identified the presence of B cells, several myelomonocytic lineages, fibroblast and epithelial cell proliferation, matrix alterations, and expression of type I IFN–inducible genes. Glomerulus-to-glomerulus variation within a kidney was less marked. The myeloid lineage transcripts, characteristic of those found in isolated activated macrophages and myeloid dendritic cells, were widely distributed in all biopsy samples. One major subgroup of the samples expressed fibrosis-related genes that correlated with pathological evidence of glomerulosclerosis; however, decreased expression of TGF-β1 argued against its role in lupus renal fibrosis. Expression of type I IFN–inducible transcripts by a second subset of samples was associated with reduced expression of fibrosis-related genes and milder pathological features. This pattern of gene expression resembled that exhibited by activated NK cells. A large gene cluster with decreased expression found in all samples included ion channels and transcription factors, indicating a loss-of-function response to the glomerular injury.
Karin S. Peterson, Jing-Feng Huang, Jessica Zhu, Vivette D’Agati, Xuejun Liu, Nancy Miller, Mark G. Erlander, Michael R. Jackson, Robert J. Winchester
Today, dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) represents the main cause of severe heart failure and disability in younger adults and thus is a challenge for public health. About 30% of DCM cases are genetic in origin; however, the large majority of cases are sporadic, and a viral or immune pathogenesis is suspected. Following the established postulates for pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases, here we provide direct evidence that an autoimmune attack directed against the cardiac β1-adrenergic receptor may play a causal role in DCM. First, we immunized inbred rats against the second extracellular β1-receptor loop (β1-ECII; 100% sequence identity between human and rat) every month. All these rats developed first, receptor-stimulating anti–β1-ECII Ab’s and then, after 9 months, progressive severe left ventricular dilatation and dysfunction. Second, we transferred sera from anti–β1-ECII–positive and Ab-negative animals every month to healthy rats of the same strain. Strikingly, all anti–β1-ECII–transferred rats also developed a similar cardiomyopathic phenotype within a similar time frame, underlining the pathogenic potential of these receptor Ab’s. As a consequence, β1-adrenergic receptor–targeted autoimmune DCM should now be categorized with other known receptor Ab-mediated autoimmune diseases, such as Graves disease or myasthenia gravis. Although carried out in an experimental animal model, our findings should further encourage the development of therapeutic strategies that combat harmful anti–β1-ECII in receptor Ab–positive DCM patients.
Roland Jahns, Valérie Boivin, Lutz Hein, Sven Triebel, Christiane E. Angermann, Georg Ertl, Martin J. Lohse
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