TLR7/9-mediated monocytosis and maturation of Gr-1(hi) inflammatory monocytes towards Gr-1(lo) resting monocytes implicated in murine lupus.
ABSTRACT Circulating monocytes are divided into two major, phenotypically and functionally distinct subsets: Gr-1(hi) "inflammatory" and Gr-1(lo) "resting" monocytes. One of the unique cellular abnormalities in lupus-prone mice is monocytosis, which is characterized by a selective expansion of Gr-1(lo) monocytes and dependent on the expression of stimulatory IgG Fc receptors (FcγR). We speculated that IgG immune complexes containing nuclear antigens could stimulate Gr-1(hi) monocytes through interaction with FcγRs and then TLR7 and TLR9, thereby promoting the maturation towards Gr-1(lo) monocytes. In the present study, we assessed this hypothesis by analyzing effects of TLR9 or TLR7 agonist on monocytes in vivo. The analysis of various surface markers differentially expressed on both subsets of monocytes in combination with selective depletion of either subset revealed that within 48 h after injection of the TLR9 agonist CpG, approximately one third of Gr-1(hi) monocytes became phenotypically identical to Gr-1(lo) monocytes. In addition, we observed approximately two-fold increases in the total monocyte population 8-24 h after injection of CpG. Moreover, the activation of TLR9 resulted in an increased expression of stimulatory FcγRIV relative to inhibitory FcγRIIB on monocytes, thereby enhancing their responsiveness to IgG immune complexes. Essentially identical results were obtained after stimulation of TLR7 with a synthetic agonist (1V136). Our results indicate that the activation of TLR7 and TLR9 not only induced the maturation of a fraction of Gr-1(hi) monocytes towards Gr-1(lo) monocytes but also promoted the overall generation of monocytes, thereby supporting the critical role of TLR7 and TLR9 for the development of monocytosis in lupus-prone mice.
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ABSTRACT: The envelope glycoprotein, gp70, of endogenous retroviruses represents one of the major nephritogenic autoantigens implicated in murine systemic lupus erythematosus. Among different endogenous retroviruses (ecotropic, xenotropic and polytropic), lupus-prone mice express remarkably high levels of modified polytropic (mPT) retroviruses, which are controlled by the Sgp3 (serum gp70 production) locus. To define the contribution of the Sgp3 locus derived from lupus-prone mice to the expression of the specific mPT proviruses, the genetic origin of different mPT viruses expressed in livers and thymi of wild-type and Sgp3 congenic C57BL/6 mice was determined through clonal analysis of their transcripts. Among 13 mPT proviruses present in the C57BL/6 genome, only 3 proviruses (Mpmv6, Mpmv10 and Mpmv13) were selectively but differentially expressed in livers and thymi. This was likely a result of co-regulated expression with host genes because of their integration in the same transcriptional direction. In contrast, Sgp3 induced the steady-state expression of an additional select group of mPT proviruses and, after stimulation of TLR7, the highly upregulated expression of a potentially replication-competent mPT virus Mpmv4. These results indicated that the expression of distinct subpopulations of mPT retroviruses was regulated by Sgp3- and TLR7-dependent mechanisms. The induction of potentially replication-competent mPT viruses and the upregulation of one such virus after stimulation with TLR7 in Sgp3 congenic mice further highlight the implication of Sgp3 in autoimmune responses against nephritogenic serum gp70 through the activation of TLR7.Journal of Autoimmunity 04/2012; 38(4):361-8. · 8.15 Impact Factor