[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have previously shown that B6 congenic mice with a New Zealand Black chromosome 1 (c1) 96-100 cM interval produce anti-nuclear Abs and that at least two additional genetic loci are required to convert this subclinical disease to fatal glomerulonephritis in mice with a c1 70-100 cM interval (c1(70-100)). Here we show that the number of T follicular helper and IL-21-, IFN-γ-, and IL-17-secreting CD4(+) T cells parallels disease severity and the number of susceptibility loci in these mice. Immunization of pre-autoimmune mice with OVA recapitulated these differences. Differentiation of naïve T cells in-vitro under polarizing conditions and in-vivo following adoptive transfer of OVA-specific TCR transgenic cells into c1(70-100) or B6 recipient mice, revealed T cell functional defects leading to increased differentiation of IFN-γ- and IL-17-producing cells in the 96-100 cM and 88-96 cM intervals, respectively. However, in-vivo enhanced differentiation of pro-inflammatory T cell subsets was predominantly restricted to c1(70-100) recipient mice, which demonstrated altered dendritic cell function, with increased production of IL-6 and IL-12. The data provide support for the role of pro-inflammatory T cells in the conversion of subclinical disease to fatal autoimmunity and highlight the importance of synergistic interactions between individual susceptibility loci in this process.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(9):e75166. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic loci on New Zealand Black (NZB) chromosomes 1 and 13 play a significant role in the development of lupus-like autoimmune disease. We have previously shown that C57BL/6 (B6) congenic mice with homozygous NZB chromosome 1 (B6.NZBc1) or 13 (B6.NZBc13) intervals develop anti-nuclear antibodies and mild glomerulonephritis (GN), together with increased T and B cell activation. Here, we produced B6.NZBc1c13 bicongenic mice with both intervals, and demonstrate several novel phenotypes including: marked plasmacytoid and myeloid dendritic cell expansion, and elevated IgA production. Despite these changes, only minor increases in anti-nuclear antibody production were seen, and the severity of GN was reduced as compared to B6.NZBc1 mice. Although bicongenic mice had increased levels of baff and tnf-α mRNA in their spleens, the levels of IFN-α-induced gene expression were reduced. Splenocytes from bicongenic mice also demonstrated reduced secretion of IFN-α following TLR stimulation in vitro. This reduction was not due to inhibition by TNF-α and IL-10, or regulation by other cellular populations. Because pDC in bicongenic mice are chronically exposed to nuclear antigen-containing immune complexes in vivo, we examined whether repeated stimulation of mouse pDC with TLR ligands leads to impaired IFN-α production, a phenomenon termed TLR tolerance. Bone marrow pDC from both B6 and bicongenic mice demonstrated markedly inhibited secretion of IFN-α following repeated stimulation with a TLR9 ligand. Our findings suggest that the expansion of pDC and production of anti-nuclear antibodies need not be associated with increased IFN-α production and severe kidney disease, revealing additional complexity in the regulation of autoimmunity in systemic lupus erythematosus.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(5):e36761. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Numerous mapping studies have implicated genetic intervals from lupus-prone New Zealand Black (NZB) chromosomes 1 and 4 as contributing to lupus pathogenesis. By introgressing NZB chromosomal intervals onto a non-lupus-prone B6 background, we determined that: NZB chromosome 1 congenic mice (denoted B6.NZBc1) developed fatal autoimmune-mediated kidney disease, and NZB chromosome 4 congenic mice (denoted B6.NZBc4) exhibited a marked expansion of B1a and NKT cells in the surprising absence of autoimmunity. In this study, we sought to examine whether epistatic interactions between these two loci would affect lupus autoimmunity by generating bicongenic mice that carry both NZB chromosomal intervals. Compared with B6.NZBc1 mice, bicongenic mice demonstrated significantly decreased mortality, kidney disease, Th1-biased IgG autoantibody isotypes, and differentiation of IFN-γ-producing T cells. Furthermore, a subset of bicongenic mice exhibited a paucity of CD21(+)CD1d(+) B cells and an altered NKT cell activation profile that correlated with greater disease inhibition. Thus, NZBc4 contains suppressive epistatic modifiers that appear to inhibit the development of fatal NZBc1 autoimmunity by promoting a shift away from a proinflammatory cytokine profile, which in some mice may involve NKT cells.
The Journal of Immunology 04/2011; 186(10):5845-53. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The presence of autoantibodies in New Zealand Black (NZB) mice suggests a B cell tolerance defect however the nature of this defect is unknown. To determine whether defects in B cell anergy contribute to the autoimmune phenotype in NZB mice, soluble hen egg lysozyme (sHEL) and anti-HEL Ig transgenes were bred onto the NZB background to generate double transgenic (dTg) mice. NZB dTg mice had elevated levels of anti-HEL antibodies, despite apparently normal B cell functional anergy in-vitro. NZB dTg B cells also demonstrated increased survival and abnormal entry into the follicular compartment following transfer into sHEL mice. Since this process is dependent on BAFF, BAFF serum and mRNA levels were assessed and were found to be significantly elevated in NZB dTg mice. Treatment of NZB sHEL recipient mice with TACI-Ig reduced NZB dTg B cell survival following adoptive transfer, confirming the role of BAFF in this process. Although NZB mice had modestly elevated BAFF, the enhanced NZB B cell survival response appeared to result from an altered response to BAFF. In contrast, T cell blockade had a minimal effect on B cell survival, but inhibited anti-HEL antibody production. The findings suggest that the modest BAFF elevations in NZB mice are sufficient to perturb B cell tolerance, particularly when acting in concert with B cell functional abnormalities and T cell help.
PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(7):e11691. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a multisystem autoimmune disease characterized by production of autoantibodies directed against nuclear antigens resulting in formation of immune complexes that deposit in multiple organs causing tissue damage. SLE is a complex genetic disease in which variations in multiple genes, each with a modest effect size, contribute to disease genesis. Given this genetic complexity, identification of the role of individual polymorphisms is challenging. In this context, studies of mouse models of lupus have been particularly informative. Here we review the findings arising from the study of gene deleted, transgenic and congenic lupus-prone mouse models.
Seminars in Immunology 11/2009; 21(6):372-82. · 5.93 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic loci on New Zealand Black (NZB) chromosome 1 play an important role in the development of lupus-like autoimmune disease. We have shown previously that C57BL/6 mice with an introgressed NZB chromosome 1 interval extending from approximately 35 to 106 cM have significantly more severe autoimmunity than mice with a shorter interval extending from approximately 82 to 106 cM. Comparison of the cellular phenotype in these mice revealed that both mouse strains had evidence of increased T cell activation; however, activation was more pronounced in mice with the longer interval. Mice with the longer interval also had increased B cell activation, leading us to hypothesize that there were at least two independent lupus susceptibility loci on chromosome 1. In this study, we have used mixed hemopoietic radiation chimeras to demonstrate that autoimmunity in these mice arises from intrinsic B and T cell functional defects. We further show that a T cell defect, localized to the shorter interval, leads to spontaneous activation of T cells specific for nucleosome histone components. Despite activation of self-reactive T cells in mixed chimeric mice, only chromosome 1 congenic B cells produce anti-nuclear Abs and undergo class switching, indicating impaired B cell tolerance mechanisms. In mice with the longer chromosome 1 interval, an additional susceptibility locus exacerbates autoimmune disease by producing a positive feedback loop between T and B cell activation. Thus, T and B cell defects act in concert to produce and amplify the autoimmune phenotype.
The Journal of Immunology 01/2006; 175(12):8154-64. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In previous work, we demonstrated linkage between a broad region on New Zealand Black (NZB) chromosome 1 and increased costimulatory molecule expression on B cells and autoantibody production. In this study, we produced C57BL/6 congenic mice with homozygous NZB chromosome 1 intervals of differing lengths. We show that both B6.NZBc1(35-106) (numbers denote chromosomal interval length) and B6.NZBc1(85-106) mice produce IgG anti-nuclear autoantibodies, but B6.NZBc1(35-106) mice develop significantly higher titers of autoantibodies and more severe renal disease than B6.NZBc1(85-106) mice. Cellular analysis of B6.NZBc1(85-106) mice revealed splenomegaly and increased numbers of memory T cells. In addition to these features, B6.NZBc1(35-106) mice had altered B and T cell activation with increased expression of CD69, and for B cells, costimulatory molecules and MHC. Introduction of an anti-hen egg white lysozyme Ig transgene, as a representative nonself-reactive Ig receptor, onto the B6.NZBc1(35-106) background corrected the B cell activation phenotype and led to dramatic normalization of splenomegaly and T cell activation, but had little impact on the increased proportion of memory T cells. These findings indicate that there are multiple lupus susceptibility genes on NZB chromosome 1, and that although B cell defects play an important role in lupus pathogenesis in these mice, they act in concert with T cell activation defects.
The Journal of Immunology 09/2003; 171(4):1697-706. · 5.52 Impact Factor