Transgene-mediated hyper-expression of IL-5 inhibits autoimmune disease but increases the risk of B cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia in a model of murine lupus.

Department of Pathology, Juntendo University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.
European Journal of Immunology (Impact Factor: 4.52). 11/2004; 34(10):2740-9. DOI: 10.1002/eji.200425267
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT IL-5 preferentially activates B1 cells to produce natural antibodies cross-reactive to self antigens. To determine the role of IL-5 in antibody-mediated autoimmune disease, we generated systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)-prone (NZB x NZW)F1 mice congenic for IL-5 transgene (TG-F1). The transgene unexpectedly reduced the incidence of lupus nephritis. Anti-DNA antibodies in sera and those produced by splenic B cells in vitro were markedly decreased in TG-F1 mice, while total polyclonal Ig levels were comparable to those in IL-5 transgene-negative (NZB x NZW)F1 (non-TG-F1) littermates. Flow cytometry-sorted splenic B1 cells showed a significant reduction of anti-DNA antibody synthesis in response to IL-5, while proliferative responses to IL-5 did not significantly differ between TG-F1 and non-TG-F1 mice. As TG-F1 mice aged, frequencies of peripheral B1 cells progressively increased, and the mice frequently developed B cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL). Our results suggest that dysregulated, continuous high expression of IL-5 in SLE-prone mice may directly or indirectly mediate a skewed signaling of proliferation/differentiation of self-antigen-activated B1 cells, leading to suppression of autoimmune disease, but instead to aberrant expansion of B1 cells, giving rise to B-CLL. Thus, this model may provide a clue to the pathogenesis of both SLE and B-CLL.

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