Paradoxical arrest in lupus activity in BXSB mice with highly autoreactive T cells.
ABSTRACT T cells with high avidity for antigens are thought to mediate more effective immunity against foreign antigens and cause more severe autoimmunity. The impact of T cell receptor (TCR) avidity on the development of lupus has not been investigated. We took advantage of a transgenic mouse strain (designated MTB) that has a diverse T cell population and a globally stronger reactivity to self. [MTBxBXSB]F1 mice displayed accelerated lupus relative to the [WTxBXSB]F1 controls. The severity of lupus and the activation of T cells subsided with aging, when elevated IL-10 production by Tr1 cells was observed. Thus, chronic high avidity interactions of T cells with self-antigens can lead to an age associated increase in IL-10 production. This could explain the age-associated reduction of the incidence of lupus, as well as other autoimmune diseases. Furthermore, the principle of Tr1 differentiation based on diverse T cells with high avidity for self may potentially be used as a therapeutic strategy in the treatment of lupus.
Article: Age-related accumulation of T cells with markers of relatively stronger autoreactivity leads to functional erosion of T cells.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Thymic involution is a prominent characteristic of an aging immune system. When thymic function is reduced/absent, the peripheral T cell pool is subject to the laws of peripheral T cell homeostasis that favor survival/expansion of T cell receptors with relatively higher functional avidity for self-peptide/MHC complexes. Due to difficulties in assessing the TCR avidity in polyclonal population of T cells, it is currently not known whether high avidity T cells preferentially survive in aging individuals, and what impact this might have on the function of the immune system and development of autoimmune diseases. The phenotype of T cells from aged mice (18-24 months) indicating functional TCR avidity (CD3 and CD5 expression) correlates with the level of preserved thymic function. In mice with moderate thymic output (> 30% of peripheral CD62L(hi) T cells), T cells displayed CD3(low)CD5(hi) phenotype characteristic for high functional avidity. In old mice with drastically low numbers of CD62L(hi) T cells reduced CD5 levels were found. After adult thymectomy, T cells of young mice developed CD3(low)CD5(hi) phenotype, followed by a CD3(low)CD5(low) phenotype. Spleens of old mice with the CD3(low)/CD5(hi) T cell phenotype displayed increased levels of IL-10 mRNA, and their T cells could be induced to secrete IL-10 in vitro. In contrast, downmodulation of CD5 was accompanied with reduced IL-10 expression and impaired anti-CD3 induced proliferation. Irrespective of the CD3/CD5 phenotype, reduced severity of experimental allergic myelitis occurred in old mice. In MTB TCRβ transgenic mice that display globally elevated TCR avidity for self peptide/MHC, identical change patterns occurred, only at an accelerated pace. These findings suggest that age-associated dysfunctions of the immune system could in part be due to functional erosion of T cells devised to protect the hosts from the prolonged exposure to T cells with high-avidity for self.BMC Immunology 02/2012; 13:8. · 2.53 Impact Factor