Yi Li

University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, United States

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Publications (25)115.32 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: To define the pathogenesis of bone marrow (BM) involvement in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) levels, cell death, and cellular damage in BM from SLE patients, controls, and mice with pristane-induced lupus were analyzed using a morphometric technique and immunohistochemistry. The pathogenesis of BM abnormalities was studied in wild-type (WT), TNFα(-/-) , Toll-like receptor-deficient (TLR-7(-/-) ), interferon (IFN)-α/β/ω receptor-knockout (IFNAR(-/-) ), and B cell-deficient (μmt) mice treated with pristane. Flow cytometry was used to examine TNFα production (by intracellular staining) and plasma cell/plasmablast development. CXCL12 expression was determined by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. BM from SLE patients exhibited striking death of niche and hematopoietic cells associated with TNFα overproduction. BM from mice with a type I IFN-mediated lupus syndrome induced by pristane showed similar abnormalities. TNFα was produced mainly by BM neutrophils, many with phagocytosed nuclear material (lupus erythematosus cells). TNFα production was abolished in pristane-treated TLR-7(-/-) and μmt mice but was restored in μmt mice by infusing normal plasma. Pristane-treated WT and IFNAR(-/-) mice developed anemia, BM hypocellularity, and extramedullary hematopoiesis, which were absent in TLR-7(-/-) and TNFα(-/-) mice. Additionally, the expression of CXCL12, which is produced by stromal cells and mediates homing of hematopoietic cells and plasmablasts, was decreased in BM from pristane-treated WT mice but was normal in BM from pristane-treated TNFα(-/-) mice. Although autoantibodies and glomerulonephritis are type I IFN dependent, lupus-associated BM abnormalities were TLR-7 and TNFα driven but type I IFN independent, suggesting that lupus is a disorder of innate immunity in which TLR-7 activation by phagocytosed nuclei causes relentless type I IFN and TNFα production mediating glomerulonephritis and hematologic involvement, respectively.
    Arthritis & rheumatology (Hoboken, N.J.). 01/2014; 66(1):140-51.
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    ABSTRACT: The elderly have increased morbidity and mortality following sepsis; however, the cause(s) remains unclear. We hypothesized that these poor outcomes are due in part to defects in innate immunity, rather than to an exaggerated early inflammatory response. Young (6-12 wk) or aged (20-24 mo) mice underwent polymicrobial sepsis, and subsequently, the aged mice had increased mortality and defective peritoneal bacterial clearance compared with young mice. No differences were found in the magnitude of the plasma cytokine responses. Although septic aged mice displayed equivalent or increased numbers of circulating, splenic, and bone marrow myeloid cells, some of these cells exhibited decreased phagocytosis, reactive oxygen species production, and chemotaxis. Blood leukocyte gene expression was less altered in aged versus young mice 1 d after sepsis. Aged mice had a relative inability to upregulate gene expression of pathways related to neutrophil-mediated protective immunity, chemokine/chemokine receptor binding, and responses to exogenous molecules. Expression of most MHC genes remained more downregulated in aged mice at day 3. Despite their increased myeloid response to sepsis, the increased susceptibility of aged mice to sepsis appears not to be due to an exaggerated inflammatory response, but rather, a failure to mount an effective innate immune response.
    The Journal of Immunology 12/2013; · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although ectopic lymphoid tissue formation is associated with many autoimmune diseases, it is unclear whether it serves a functional role in autoimmune responses. 2,6,10,14-Tetramethylpentadecane causes chronic peritoneal inflammation and lupus-like disease with autoantibody production and ectopic lymphoid tissue (lipogranuloma) formation. A novel transplantation model was used to show that transplanted lipogranulomas retain their lymphoid structure over a prolonged period in the absence of chronic peritoneal inflammation. Recipients of transplanted lipogranulomas produced anti-U1A autoantibodies derived exclusively from the donor, despite nearly complete repopulation of the transplanted lipogranulomas by host lymphocytes. The presence of ectopic lymphoid tissue alone was insufficient, as an anti-U1A response was not generated by the host in the absence of ongoing peritoneal inflammation. Donor-derived anti-U1A autoantibodies were produced for up to 2 mo by plasma cells/plasmablasts recruited to the ectopic lymphoid tissue by CXCR4. Although CD4(+) T cells were not required for autoantibody production from the transplanted lipogranulomas, de novo generation of anti-U1A plasma cells/plasmablasts was reduced following T cell depletion. Significantly, a population of memory B cells was identified in the bone marrow and spleen that did not produce anti-U1A autoantibodies unless stimulated by LPS to undergo terminal differentiation. We conclude that 2,6,10,14-tetramethylpentadecane promotes the T cell-dependent development of class-switched, autoreactive memory B cells and plasma cells/plasmablasts. The latter home to ectopic lymphoid tissue and continue to produce autoantibodies after transplantation and in the absence of peritoneal inflammation. However, peritoneal inflammation appears necessary to generate autoreactive B cells de novo.
    The Journal of Immunology 03/2013; · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have previously identified pancreatic and duodenal homeobox 1 (Pdx1) autoantibodies (PAA) in sera from both non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice and human type 1 diabetic (T1D) patients. A suitable non-radioactive, sensitive and specific assay is needed for large-scale testing to determine the clinical utility of PAA. Here we reported a liquid-phase luciferase immunoprecipitation system (LIPS) assay by generating a renilla luciferase (Rluc)-Pdx1 fusion protein as a sensitive non-radioactive antigen from mammalian cells combined with immunoprecipitation to detect PAA in human sera. Sera from healthy donors and the University of Florida Pathology Laboratories, Endocrine Autoantibody Laboratory were used to validate the LIPS assay for PAA. Antigenic specificity to Pdx1 was confirmed by using a Rluc-only control compared to Rluc-Pdx1 fusion antigen and by competition assays using purified recombinant Pdx1 protein. We then used the LIPS assay to assess the prevalence of triple autoantibodies (GADA, IA-2A, and IA-2βA), and PAA in non-T1D control sera, recent onset (RO)-T1D sera (mean duration of T1D = 9.5 weeks), and long standing (LS)-T1D sera. Compared to clinical radioimmunoprecipitation assays (RIPA), the LIPS assay showed comparable sensitivity and specificity for detection of GADA and IA-2A. PAA were detectable in human serum samples and higher in triple-positive T1D autoantibodies (21% PAA positive in triple positive sera and 4% PAA positive in triple negative sera). Interestingly, PAA were found to be highest in the non-T1D population, suggesting that PAA might have a clinical utility in screening high-risk population susceptible for developing T1D. In conclusion, we have developed a liquid-phase, non-radioactive, sensitive and specific LIPS assay to detect PAA in human sera, providing a useful tool for evaluating the clinical relevance of PAA.
    International journal of clinical and experimental pathology 01/2013; 6(6):1202-10. · 2.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Myositis specific autoantibodies are associated with unique clinical subsets and are useful biomarkers in polymyositis/dermatomyositis (PM/DM). A 120 kD protein recognized by certain patients with DM was identified and clinical features of patients with this specificity were characterized. The 120 kD protein recognized by a prototype serum was purified and identified by mass spectrometry and immunological methods. Autoantibody to this 120 kD protein was screened in sera from 2,356 patients with various diagnoses from four countries, including 254 PM/DM, by immunoprecipitation of 35S-methionine labeled K562 cell extracts. Clinical information of patients with this specificity was collected. The 120 kD protein, which exactly comigrated with PL-12, was identified as transcription intermediary factor TIF1β (TRIM28) by mass spectrometry and validated by immunoassays. By immunofluorescence, anti-TIF1β positivity showed a fine-speckled nuclear staining pattern. Four cases of anti-TIF1β were identified; all are women, one each in a Japanese, African American, Caucasian, and Mexican individual. Three had a diagnosis of DM and one case was classified as having an undifferentiated connective tissue disease with an elevated CPK but without significant muscle symptoms. This individual also had a history of colon cancer, cervical squamous metaplasia and fibroid tumors of the uterus. Myopathy was mild in all cases and resolved without treatment in one case. The anti-TIF1β specificity was not found in other conditions. Anti-TIF1β is a new DM autoantibody associated with a mild form of myopathy. Whether it has an association with malignancy, as in the case of anti-TIF1γ, or other unique features will need to be evaluated in future studies.
    Arthritis research & therapy 04/2012; 14(2):R79. · 4.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Genetic polymorphisms of IFN regulatory factor 5 (IRF5) are associated with an increased risk of lupus in humans. In this study, we examined the role of IRF5 in the pathogenesis of pristane-induced lupus in mice. The pathological response to pristane in IRF5(-/-) mice shared many features with type I IFN receptor (IFNAR)(-/-) and TLR7(-/-) mice: production of anti-Sm/RNP autoantibodies, glomerulonephritis, generation of Ly6C(hi) monocytes, and IFN-I production all were greatly attenuated. Lymphocyte activation following pristane injection was greatly diminished in IRF5(-/-) mice, and Th cell differentiation was deviated from Th1 in wild-type mice toward Th2 in IRF5(-/-) mice. Th cell development was skewed similarly in TLR7(-/-) or IFNAR(-/-) mice, suggesting that IRF5 alters T cell activation and differentiation by affecting cytokine production. Indeed, production of IFN-I, IL-12, and IL-23 in response to pristane was markedly decreased, whereas IL-4 increased. Unexpectedly, plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC) were not recruited to the site of inflammation in IRF5(-/-) or MyD88(-/-) mice, but were recruited normally in IFNAR(-/-) and TLR7(-/-) mice. In striking contrast to wild-type mice, pristane did not stimulate local expression of CCL19 and CCL21 in IRF5(-/-) mice, suggesting that IRF5 regulates chemokine-mediated pDC migration independently of its effects on IFN-I. Collectively, these data indicate that altered production of IFN-I and other cytokines in IRF5(-/-) mice prevents pristane from inducing lupus pathology by broadly affecting T and B lymphocyte activation/differentiation. Additionally, we uncovered a new, IFN-I-independent role of IRF5 in regulating chemokines involved in the homing of pDCs and certain lymphocyte subsets.
    The Journal of Immunology 03/2012; 188(8):4113-21. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Autoantibodies against the U1 snRNP (anti-Sm/RNP) are strongly associated with SLE. Interestingly, levels of anti-Sm/RNP are extraordinarily high and remain relatively constant over time. Our research is aimed at understanding how these autoantibodies are induced and why their levels remain elevated. Studies in pristane-induced lupus indicated that these autoantibodies were absent in mice lacking TLR7 or intermediates in the TLR7 signaling pathway (MyD88, IRF5, IRF7) and also in mice lacking the interferon α/β receptor. Ectopic lymphoid tissue (ELT) from mice with pristane-lupus was transplanted to naïve mice to examine development of anti-U1A (RNP) B cells. Plasma cells and/or plasmablasts (PC/PB) capable of transferring autoantibody production to the recipient mice were enriched in ELT whereas U1A-specific memory B cells were present in the spleen and bone marrow. A sensitive luciferase immunoprecipitation system (LIPS) assay was developed to show that U1A-specific memory cells and PC/PB circulate in peripheral blood of SLE patients. By treating with a TLR7 ligand, autoantibody secretion could be induced in memory B cells and enhanced in PB, but not PC or naïve B cells. In SLE patients, U1A-specific cells were mainly PB, whereas total circulating IgG secreting cells were mainly memory B cells, suggesting that there is a chronic and specific activation, possibly TLR7 mediated, of U1A-specific B cells. Consistent with that interpretation, a similar picture was seen in pristane-lupus and total PB numbers were significantly reduced in spleens of TLR7 deficient vs. wild type mice. Together, the data suggest that anti-Sm/RNP antibody levels may be maintained by chronic TLR7-mediated activation of memory B cells.
    Japanese Journal of Clinical Immunology 01/2012; 35(4):296.
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    ABSTRACT: Anti-RNA polymerase III (RNAP III) antibodies are highly specific markers of scleroderma (systemic sclerosis, SSc) and associated with a rapidly progressing subset of SSc. The clinical presentation of anti-RNAP III positive patients, onset of Raynaud's phenomenon (RP) and SSc in unselected patients in a rheumatology clinic were evaluated. Autoantibodies in sera from 1,966 unselected patients (including 434 systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), 119 SSc, 85 polymyositis/dermatomyositis (PM/DM)) in a rheumatology clinic were screened by radioimmunoprecipitation. Anti-RNAP III positive sera were also tested by immunofluorescence antinuclear antibodies and anti-RNAP III ELISA. Medical records of anti-RNAP III positive patients were reviewed. Among 21 anti-RNAP III positive patients, 16 met the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) SSc criteria at the initial visit but 5 did not; diagnoses were vasculitis, early polyarthritis, renal failure with RP, interstitial lung disease, and Sjögren's syndrome. The first two patients developed rapidly progressive diffuse SSc. An additional case presented with diffuse scleroderma without RP and RP developed two years later. Anti-RNAP III antibodies in these 6 cases of atypical clinical presentation were compared with those in 15 cases of typical (SSc with RP) cases. Anti-RNAP III levels by ELISA were lower in the former group (P = 0.04 by Mann-Whitney test) and 3 of 6 were negative versus only 1 of 15 negative in the latter (P < 0.05 by Fisher's exact test). Three cases of non-SSc anti-RNAP III positive patients had predominant reactivity with RNAP I with weak RNAP III reactivity and had a strong nucleolar staining. Three anti-RNAP III patients, who did not have RP at the initial visit, developed RP months later. Scleroderma developed prior to RP in 5 out of 16 (31%) in the anti-RNAP III group, but this was rare in patients with other autoantibodies. The interval between the onset of RP to scleroderma was short in anti-RNAP III positive patients. Anti-RNAP III antibodies are highly specific for SSc; however, a subset of anti-RNAP III positive patients do not present as typical SSc. The interval between RP and scleroderma in this group is short, and 31% of patients developed scleroderma prior to RP in this group. Anti-RNAP III positive patients may not present as typical SSc and detecting anti-RNAP III may have predictive value.
    Arthritis research & therapy 07/2011; 13(4):R119. · 4.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The presence of anti-topoisomerase I (topo I) antibodies is a classic scleroderma (SSc) marker presumably associated with a unique clinical subset. Here the clinical association of anti-topo I was reevaluated in unselected patients seen in a rheumatology clinic setting. Sera from the initial visit in a cohort of unselected rheumatology clinic patients (n = 1,966, including 434 systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), 119 SSc, 85 polymyositis/dermatomyositis (PM/DM)) were screened by radioimmunoprecipitation. Anti-topo I-positive sera were also tested with immunofluorescence and RNA immunoprecipitation. Twenty-five (15 Caucasian, eight African American, two Latin) anti-topo I positive patients were identified, and all except one met the ACR SSc criteria. Coexistence of other SSc autoantibodies was not observed, except for anti-U1RNP in six cases. When anti-topo I alone versus anti-topo I + U1RNP groups were compared, African American (21% vs. 67%), overlap with SLE (0 vs. 50%; P = 0.009) or PM/DM (0 vs. 33%; P = 0.05) or elevated creatine phosphokinase (CPK) (P = 0.07) were more common in the latter group. In comparison of anti-topo I-positive Caucasians versus African Americans, the latter more frequently had anti-U1RNP (13% vs. 50%), mild/no skin changes (14% vs. 63%; P = 0.03) and overlap with SLE (0 vs. 38%; P = 0.03) and PM/DM (0 vs. 25%; P = 0.05). Anti-topo I detected by immunoprecipitation in unselected rheumatology patients is highly specific for SSc. Anti-topo I coexisting with anti-U1RNP in African American patients is associated with a subset of SLE overlapping with SSc and PM/DM but without apparent sclerodermatous changes.
    Arthritis research & therapy 05/2011; 13(3):R73. · 4.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Autoantibodies to topoisomerase I (topo I), RNA polymerase III (RNAPIII), centromere, U3RNP/fibrillarin, Th, PM-Scl, and U1RNP found in scleroderma (SSc) are associated with unique clinical subsets. The effects of race and gender on autoantibody prevalence and clinical manifestations were examined. Autoantibodies in sera from 105 SSc (include 75 Caucasian, 24 African-American, 6 others; 89 females and 16 males) were analyzed by immunofluorescence and immunoprecipitation. Clinical information was from database. SSc-related autoantibodies seldom coexist except for anti-topo I and anti-U1RNP. Anti-topo I (35% vs 15%), anti-U3RNP (30% vs 3%, p = 0.0005), and anti-U1RNP (30% vs 13%) were more common in African-Americans vs Caucasians. Anti-centromere (17%) and anti-PM-Scl (only in 8% of female) were found only in Caucasians. In race/gender combination, all three African-American males had anti-topo I (p = 0.04). Anti-U3RNP (35% vs 3%, p = 0.0005) and anti-U1RNP were common in African-American females. In African-American, all nucleolar dominant staining sera had anti-U3RNP; nuclear pattern was topo I (50%), U1RNP (19%), and RNAPIII (13%). In Caucasian, nucleolar was anti-Th (43%) and PM-Scl (29%); nuclear pattern was RNAPIII (29%), topo I (24%), and U1RNP (18%). Anti-topo I, anti-RNAPIII, and anti-U3RNP were associated with diffuse SSc while anti-centromere, anti-Th, and anti-U1 with limited disease. Proximal scleroderma was less common in African-American with anti-topo I (38% vs 91% in Caucasian, p = 0.04). The production of SSc-related autoantibodies is gender and race dependent, and this can be highly relevant in understanding their clinical significance.
    Clinical Rheumatology 04/2011; 30(10):1333-9. · 2.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Autoantibodies in the systemic rheumatic diseases are clinically useful biomarkers of the diagnosis or of certain clinical characteristics. An unusual pattern of immunoprecipitation, in which the D, E, F, and G proteins of small nuclear RNPs (snRNP) but without other components of the snRNP, was noticed at the autoantibody screening. The purpose of this study was to examine the target antigens and clinical manifestations associated with this specificity. Autoantibodies in sera from 1,966 American patients (including 434 with systemic lupus erythematosus, 121 with scleroderma, 86 with polymyositis/dermatomyositis [PM/DM]) and 248 Italian patients with autoimmune diseases were screened by immunoprecipitation of (35) S-methionine-labeled cell extracts. Sera with which D, E, F, and G proteins of snRNP was immunoprecipitated, but without the other snRNP proteins, were further examined by analysis of RNA components by immunoprecipitation (silver staining), Western blotting using survival of motor neuron (SMN) complex, and immunofluorescence. Three sera that immunoprecipitated D, E, F, and G proteins without other components (U1-70K, A, B'/B, C) of the snRNP were found. Four additional proteins (130 kd, 120 kd, 38 kd, and 33 kd) were also commonly immunoprecipitated. The target antigen was identified as SMN complex (Gemin 3, Gemin 4, SMN, and Gemin 2, respectively), which plays a critical role in the assembly of snRNP. In immunofluorescence analyses, all 3 sera showed nuclear dots (Cajal bodies) and cytoplasmic staining. Only 1 serum was weakly positive on Western blotting of SMN, suggesting that these sera mainly recognize native molecule or quaternary structure. All 3 patients were white women with PM, an interesting finding, since deletion or mutation of SMN is known to cause spinal muscular atrophy. SMN complex was identified as a new Cajal body autoantigen recognized by sera from white patients with PM. The biologic and clinical significance of anti-SMN autoantibodies will need to be clarified.
    Arthritis & Rheumatology 03/2011; 63(7):1972-8. · 7.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Exposure to naturally occurring hydrocarbon oils is associated with the development of chronic inflammation and a wide spectrum of pathological findings in humans and animal models. The mechanism underlying the unremitting inflammatory response to hydrocarbons remains largely unclear. The medium-length alkane 2,6,10,14 tetramethylpentadecane (also known as pristane) is a hydrocarbon that potently elicits chronic peritonitis characterized by persistent infiltration of neutrophils and monocytes. In this study, we reveal the essential role of IL-1α in sustaining the chronic recruitment of neutrophils following 2,6,10,14 tetramethylpentadecane treatment. IL-1α and IL-1R signaling promote the migration of neutrophils to the peritoneal cavity in a CXCR2-dependent manner. This mechanism is at least partially dependent on the production of the neutrophil chemoattractant CXCL5. Moreover, although chronic infiltration of inflammatory monocytes is dependent on a different pathway requiring TLR-7, type I IFN receptor, and CCR2, the adaptor molecules MyD88, IL-1R-associated kinase (IRAK)-4, IRAK-1, and IRAK-2 are shared in regulating the recruitment of both monocytes and neutrophils. Taken together, our findings uncover an IL-1α-dependent mechanism of neutrophil recruitment in hydrocarbon-induced peritonitis and illustrate the interactions of innate immune pathways in chronic inflammation.
    The Journal of Immunology 02/2011; 186(3):1747-54. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disease with profound effects on multiple organ systems. In patients with SLE, the immune system is subverted to target numerous self antigens and the ensuing inflammatory response elicits a vicious cycle of immune-cell activation and tissue damage. Both genetic and environmental factors are essential for the development of this debilitating condition, although the exact cause remains unclear. Early studies on the pathogenesis of lupus centered on the adaptive immune system as lymphocyte abnormalities were thought to be the primary cause of autoimmunity. In the past decade, however, this paradigm has shifted with rapid advances in the field of innate immunity. These developments have yielded important insights into how the autoimmune response in SLE is initiated and maintained. Monocytes and macrophages are an essential arm of the innate immune system with a multitude of immunological functions, including antigen presentation, phagocytosis, and cytokine production. Aberrations of monocyte/macrophage phenotype and function are increasingly recognized in SLE and animal models of the disease. In this review we summarize the current knowledge of monocyte/macrophage abnormalities in human SLE and discuss their implications for understanding the pathogenesis of lupus.
    Archivum Immunologiae et Therapiae Experimentalis 10/2010; 58(5):355-64. · 2.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) often suffer from depression and fatigue in addition to the physical manifestations of the autoimmune disease. Elevated production of type-I interferons (IFN-I) has been found in lupus patients and IFN-I can precipitate a variety of neuropsychiatric side effects. This study was conducted to evaluate the relationship between dysregulated IFN-I production and the presence of depression or fatigue in lupus patients. Through cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis we found no significant correlation between abnormal IFN-I levels (as measured by peripheral blood expression of IFN-I-stimulated genes) and neuropsychiatric manifestations. Elevation of endogenous serum IFN-I levels is unlikely to account for the depression and fatigue associated with SLE.
    Journal of neuroimmunology 06/2010; 223(1-2):13-9. · 2.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: More than half of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients show evidence of excess type I interferon (IFN-I) production, a phenotype associated with renal disease and certain autoantibodies. However, detection of IFN-I proteins in serum is unreliable, and the measurement of interferon-stimulated gene (ISG) expression is expensive and time consuming. The aim of this study was to identify a surrogate marker for IFN-I activity in clinical samples for monitoring disease activity and response to therapy. Monocyte surface expression of Fcgamma receptors (FcgammaRs), chemokine receptors, and activation markers were analyzed with flow cytometry in whole blood from patients with SLE and healthy controls. FcgammaR expression also was measured in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from healthy controls cultured with Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists, cytokines, or serum from SLE patients. Expression of ISGs was analyzed with real-time PCR. Circulating CD14+ monocytes from SLE patients showed increased surface expression of FcgammaRI (CD64). The mean fluorescent intensity of CD64 staining correlated highly with the ISG expression (MX1, IFI44, and Ly6E). In vitro, IFN-I as well as TLR7 and TLR9 agonists, induced CD64 expression on monocytes from healthy controls. Exposure of monocytes from healthy controls to SLE sera also upregulated the expression of CD64 in an IFN-I-dependent manner. Decreased CD64 expression was observed concomitant with the reduction of ISG expression after high-dose corticosteroid therapy. Expression of CD64 on circulating monocytes is IFN-I inducible and highly correlated with ISG expression. Flow-cytometry analysis of CD64 expression on circulating monocytes is a convenient and rapid approach for estimating IFN-I levels in SLE patients.
    Arthritis research & therapy 01/2010; 12(3):R90. · 4.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP) antibodies are a serological marker for rheumatoid arthritis (RA); up to 10%-15% of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are also positive. While anti-CCP in RA is citrulline-dependent, anti-CCP in some other diseases is citrulline-independent and reacts with both CCP and the unmodified (arginine-containing) cyclic arginine peptide (CAP). We investigated the citrulline dependence of anti-CCP and its significance in the arthritis of SLE. IgG anti-CCP was compared by ELISA to anti-CAP in sera from patients with SLE (n = 335) and RA (n = 47) and healthy controls (n = 35). SLE patients were divided into 5 groups based on their joint involvement: subset I: deforming/erosive arthritis (n = 20); II: arthritis fulfilling (or likely fulfilling) American College of Rheumatology criteria for RA but without erosions (n = 18); III: joint swelling but not fulfilling RA criteria (n = 39); IV: arthritis without documented joint swelling (n = 194); and V: no arthritis (n = 58). Anti-CCP (> 1.7 units) was found in 68% (32/47) of patients with RA and 17% (55/329) of those with SLE. It was more common in SLE patients with deforming/erosive arthritis (38%). High anti-CCP (> 10 units) was found in RA (26%) and deforming/erosive SLE (12%). High anti-CCP/CAP ratios (> 2, indicating a selectivity to CCP) were found in 91% of anti-CCP-positive RA and 50% of anti-CCP-positive SLE patients with deforming/erosive arthritis. Patients from subset II did not have high anti-CCP/CAP. Citrulline dependence or high levels (> 10) of anti-CCP were common in SLE patients with deforming/erosive arthritis, while most anti-CCP in SLE patients was citrulline-independent. This may be useful in identifying a subset of SLE patients with high risk for development of deforming/erosive arthritis.
    The Journal of Rheumatology 11/2009; 36(12):2682-90. · 3.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pancreatic duodenal homeobox 1 (Pdx1) protein is a key transcription factor involved in the regulation of insulin gene expression that is expressed at high levels in the beta-cells of the pancreatic islets. We asked whether Pdx1 is a target of anti-islet autoimmunity in type I diabetes (T1D). Pdx1 autoantibodies (PAAs) were detected in non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice using ELISA, western blotting, and radioimmunoprecipitation of [(35)S]-labeled insulinoma cell line-derived Pdx1 protein. PAAs were detected as early as at 5 weeks of age, and generally peaked before the onset of clinically overt diabetes in diabetes-prone female NOD mice. Levels declined substantially after the onset of diabetes. PAAs were not detected in the sera of NOD-scid, C57BL/6, or BALB/c mice. The titers of PAAs in NOD mouse sera were as high as 1/93 750 by ELISA. The fine specificity of PAAs was determined by western blotting using a series of truncated recombinant Pdx1 proteins. The immunodominant epitopes were located to the C-terminus of the Pdx1 (p200-283) in NOD mice. PAAs also were detected in sera from human T1D patients, but the major epitopes were localized to amino acids 159-200 as well as the same region (p200-283) recognized by PAAs from NOD mice. Using [(3)H]thymidine incorporation, the p83 fragment of Pdx1 specifically stimulated proliferation of splenic T cells from recent-onset diabetic NOD mice. The presence of PAAs in prediabetic NOD mice and human T1D patients, and Pdx1-specific T-cell proliferation in NOD mice provide a strong rationale for further investigation of the pathogenic role of immune responses against Pdx1 in T1D.
    Laboratory Investigation 11/2009; 90(1):31-9. · 3.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic inflammation is characterized by continuous recruitment and activation of immune cells such as monocytes in response to a persistent stimulus. Production of proinflammatory mediators by monocytes leads to tissue damage and perpetuates the inflammatory response. However, the mechanism(s) responsible for the sustained influx of monocytes in chronic inflammation are not well defined. In chronic peritonitis induced by pristane, the persistent recruitment of Ly6C(hi) inflammatory monocytes into the peritoneum was abolished in type I interferon (IFN-I) receptor-deficient mice but was unaffected by the absence of IFN-gamma, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin-6, or interleukin-1. IFN-I signaling stimulated the production of chemokines (CCL2, CCL7, and CCL12) that recruited Ly6C(hi) monocytes via interactions with the chemokine receptor CCR2. Interestingly, after 2,6,10,14-tetramethylpentadecane treatment, the rapid turnover of inflammatory monocytes in the inflamed peritoneum was associated with a lack of differentiation into Ly6C(lo) monocytes/macrophages, a more mature subset with enhanced phagocytic capacity. In contrast, Ly6C(hi) monocytes differentiated normally into Ly6C(lo) cells in IFN-I receptor-deficient mice. The effects of IFN-I were specific for monocytes as granulocyte migration was unaffected in the absence of IFN-I signaling. Taken together, our findings reveal a novel role of IFN-I in promoting the recruitment of inflammatory monocytes via the chemokine receptor CCR2. Continuous monocyte recruitment and the lack of terminal differentiation induced by IFN-I may help sustain the chronic inflammatory response.
    American Journal Of Pathology 10/2009; 175(5):2023-33. · 4.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The high-affinity receptor for IgG Fcgamma/CD64 is critical for the development of lupus nephritis (LN). Cross-linking Fc receptor on recruited monocytes by IgG-containing immune complexes is a key step in immune-complex-mediated nephritis in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The goal of this study was to determine whether expression of Fc receptor (FcgammaR) I on circulating monocytes is associated with systemic inflammation and renal disease in SLE patients. We studied 205 SLE patients (132 with LN and 73 without LN) along with 74 healthy control individuals. Surface expression of CD14 (monocytes), FcgammaRI/CD64, FcgammaRII/CD32, and FcgammaRIII/CD16 was evaluated by flow cytometry. Monocyte function was assessed by determining the migratory capacity and the ability to produce CCL2 (monocyte chemotractic protein 1). High-sensitivity C-reactive protein, C3 and C4 were measured by nephelometry. There was little difference in the expression of FcgammaRIII/CD16 or FcgammaRIII/CD32 on circulating monocytes between patients with SLE and control individuals. In contrast, FcgammaRI/CD64 expression was significantly higher in SLE patients and even higher in patients with LN. FcgammaRI/CD64 expression was positively associated with serum creatinine and indicators of systemic inflammation. Monocytes from patients with high FcgammaRI/CD64 expression also exhibited increased chemotaxis and capacity to produce monocyte chemotractic protein 1. Increased FcgammaRI/CD64 expression on circulating monocytes parallels systemic inflammation and renal disease in SLE patients. We propose that circulating monocytes activated by immune complexes and/or proinflammatory mediators upregulate surface expression of FcgammaRI/CD64 in SLE. The enhanced chemotactic and inflammatory potential of the activated monocytes may participate in a vicious cycle of immune cell recruitment and renal injury in SLE.
    Arthritis research & therapy 02/2009; 11(1):R6. · 4.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Increased type I interferon (IFN-I) production and IFN-stimulated gene (ISG) expression are linked to the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Although the mechanisms responsible for dysregulated IFN-I production in SLE remain unclear, autoantibody-mediated uptake of endogenous nucleic acids is thought to play a role. 2,6,10,14-tetramethylpentadecane (TMPD; also known as pristane) induces a lupus-like disease in mice characterized by immune complex nephritis with autoantibodies to DNA and ribonucleoproteins. We recently reported that TMPD also causes increased ISG expression and that the development of the lupus is completely dependent on IFN-I signaling (Nacionales, D.C., K.M. Kelly-Scumpia, P.Y. Lee, J.S. Weinstein, R. Lyons, E. Sobel, M. Satoh, and W.H. Reeves. 2007. Arthritis Rheum. 56:3770-3783). We show that TMPD elicits IFN-I production, monocyte recruitment, and autoantibody production exclusively through a Toll-like receptor (TLR) 7- and myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88)-dependent pathway. In vitro studies revealed that TMPD augments the effect of TLR7 ligands but does not directly activate TLR7 itself. The effects of TMPD were amplified by the Y-linked autoimmune acceleration cluster, which carries a duplication of the TLR7 gene. In contrast, deficiency of Fcgamma receptors (FcgammaRs) did not affect the production of IFN-I. Collectively, the data demonstrate that TMPD-stimulated IFN-I production requires TLR7/MyD88 signaling and is independent of autoantibody-mediated uptake of ribonucleoproteins by FcgammaRs.
    Journal of Experimental Medicine 01/2009; 205(13):2995-3006. · 13.21 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

371 Citations
115.32 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2006–2014
    • University of Florida
      • • Department of Medicine
      • • Department of Pathology, Immunology, and Laboratory Medicine
      Gainesville, Florida, United States
  • 2009–2011
    • Osaka University
      Suika, Ōsaka, Japan