[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by the production of anti-nuclear antibodies. SLE is one of many autoimmune disorders that have a strong gender bias, with 70-90% of SLE patients being female. Several explanations have been postulated to account for the severity of autoimmune diseases in females, including hormonal, microbiota, and gene dosage differences. X-linked toll-like receptors (TLRs) have recently been implicated in disease progression in females. Our previous studies using the 564Igi mouse model of SLE on a Tlr7 and Tlr9 double knockout background showed that the presence of Tlr8 on both X chromosomes was required for the production of IgG autoantibodies, Ifn-I expression and granulopoiesis in females. Here, we show the results of our investigation into the role of Tlr8 expression in SLE pathogenesis in 564Igi females. Female mice have an increase in serum pathogenic anti-RNA IgG2a and IgG2b autoantibodies. 564Igi mice have also been shown to have an increase in neutrophils in vivo, which are major contributors to Ifn-α expression. Here, we show that neutrophils from C57BL/6 mice express Ifn-α in response to 564 immune complexes and TLR8 activation. Bone marrow-derived macrophages from 564Igi females have a significant increase in Tlr8 expression compared to male-derived cells, and RNA fluorescence in situ hybridization data suggest that Tlr8 may escape X-inactivation in female-derived macrophages. These results propose a model by which females may be more susceptible to SLE pathogenesis due to inefficient inactivation of Tlr8.
Frontiers in Immunology 10/2015; 6:457. DOI:10.3389/fimmu.2015.00457
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease characterized by the presence of anti-nucleic acid autoantibodies, high levels of circulating type I interferon (IFN-I), and an IFN-I-dependent elevated expression of activating FcγR. Increases in neutrophils and monocytes are often observed in clinical SLE, but how these contribute to autoantibody and IFN-I production is poorly understood. Here we analyzed SLE pathogenesis in 564Igi mice, an SLE-model strain carrying gene-targeted heavy and light chain antibody genes encoding an anti-RNA autoantibody in a C57BL/6 background. Similar to human SLE patients, 564Igi mice produce anti-RNA autoantibodies and expanded neutrophil and monocyte populations. These myeloid cells produced IFN-I and exhibit increased FcγRIV expression induced via an IFN-I autocrine loop. A direct effect of IFN-I on 564Igi bone marrow B cells and neutrophils was supported by their upregulation of "IFN-I signature genes." In addition, 564Igi developing B cells showed upregulated TLR7 resulting in IgG2a/2b class switch recombination and autoantibody production. Our results indicate that the production of anti-RNA autoantibody is sufficient to induce an increase of bone marrow, blood and spleen IFN-I-producing neutrophils, and suggest a mechanism by which autoantibody and IFN-I contribute to SLE by activating B lymphocytes, neutrophils and monocyte effector cells in vivo.
European Journal of Immunology 01/2014; 44(1). DOI:10.1002/eji.201343714 · 4.03 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) is required for immunoglobulin (Ig) gene class switch recombination (CSR), somatic hypermutation (SHM), and somatic hyperconversion. In general, high AID expression is found in mature B cells that are responding to antigens. However, AID expression and SHM have also been detected in developing B cells from transgenic mice that have a limited Ig repertoire. Here we demonstrate that AID expression, ongoing CSR, and active SHM occur in developing B cells from wild-type mice. Further, our results suggest that somatic variants arising from developing B cells in the bone marrow further diversify in the spleen of unimmunized mice. AID expression in developing B cells is T cell independent but involves engagement of B cell receptors and Toll-like receptors. Early AID expression can increase the preimmune repertoire of developing B cells, may provide an innate population of IgG- and IgA-expressing cells, and could be involved in receptor editing of self-reactive immature B cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is characterized by the production of autoantibodies that are frequently directed against nucleic acid-associated antigens. To better understand how B cells reactive with such antigens are regulated, we generated a model system in which heavy and light chain genes encoding 564 immunoglobulin have been targeted to the heavy and light chain loci of the nonautoimmune C57BL/6 mouse strain. This antibody recognizes RNA, single-stranded DNA, and nucleosomes. We show that B cells expressing this immunoglobulin were activated, producing class-switched autoantibody in vivo despite the apparently normal induction of anergy. This autoantibody production was largely dependent on Toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7). We further show that production of these autoantibodies was sufficient to cause kidney pathology in these mice. These results demonstrate that the particular threat of nucleic acid-containing autoantigens lies in their ability to bind both antigen receptor and TLR7.