Thymic expression of the transcription factor Nur77 rescues the T cell but not the B cell abnormality of gld/gld mice.
ABSTRACT Fas and Fas ligand are critical regulators of lymphocyte homeostasis. Disruption of this pathway in the spontaneous mouse mutant gld leads to autoimmunity characterized by the appearance of a population of CD4- 8- B220+ T cells and the production of autoantibodies. Nur77 is a transcription factor that is induced upon TCR signaling. Constitutive thymic expression of Nur77 leads to apoptosis. We have previously shown that introduction of this Nur77 transgene can eliminate the accumulation of abnormal T cells in the periphery of gld/gld mice. In this report, we further characterized the effects of the Nur77 transgene on the gld phenotype. Nur77-mediated apoptosis is evident in the thymuses of mice with either a gld/gld homozygous or gld/+ heterozygous background. Consequently, few mature T cells are generated in these mice. In addition, mature T cells exhibit a diminished response to proliferative signals through CD3. Interestingly, the Nur77 transgene failed to reduce serum levels of Igs and anti-DNA Abs to wild-type levels. These data suggest that the rescue of the T cell lymphoproliferative syndrome in gld/gld mice by the Nur77 transgene is mediated by events in the thymus and that B cell autoimmune disease associated with the gld mutation can develop independently of the T cell abnormality.
Article: Ligation of retinoic acid receptor alpha regulates negative selection of thymocytes by inhibiting both DNA binding of nur77 and synthesis of bim.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Negative selection refers to the selective deletion of autoreactive thymocytes. Its molecular mechanisms have not been well defined. Previous studies in our laboratory have demonstrated that retinoic acids, physiological ligands for the nuclear retinoid receptors, selectively inhibit TCR-mediated death under in vitro conditions, and the inhibition is mediated via the retinoic acid receptor (RAR) alpha. The present studies were undertaken to investigate whether ligation of RARalpha leads to inhibition of TCR-mediated death in vivo and to identify the molecular mechanisms involved. Three models of TCR-mediated death were studied: anti-CD3-mediated death of thymocytes in wild-type mice, and Ag- and bacterial superantigen-driven thymocyte death in TCR-transgenic mice expressing a receptor specific for a fragment of pigeon cytochrome c in the context of the E(k) (class II MHC) molecule. Our data demonstrate that the molecular program of both anti-CD3- and Ag-driven, but not that of superantigen-mediated apoptosis involves up-regulation of nur77, an orphan nuclear receptor, and bim, a BH3-only member of the proapoptotic bcl-2 protein family, proteins previously implicated to participate in the negative selection. Ligation of RARalpha by the synthetic agonist CD336 inhibited apoptosis, DNA binding of nur77, and synthesis of bim induced by anti-CD3 or the specific Ag, but had no effect on the superantigen-driven cell death. Our data imply that retinoids are able to inhibit negative selection in vivo as well, and they interfere with multiple steps of the T cell selection signal pathway.The Journal of Immunology 05/2003; 170(7):3577-84. · 5.79 Impact Factor