Critical Involvement of Macrophage Infiltration in the Development of Sjogren's Syndrome-Associated Dry Eye

Francis I. Proctor Foundation, University of California, San Francisco, USA.
American Journal Of Pathology (Impact Factor: 4.59). 07/2012; 181(3):753-60. DOI: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2012.05.014
Source: PubMed


Lymphocytic infiltration of the lacrimal gland and ocular surface in autoimmune diseases such as Sjögren's syndrome (SS) causes an aqueous-deficient dry eye that is associated with significant morbidity. Previous studies from our laboratory and others have established autoimmune regulator (Aire)-deficient mice as a useful model to examine exocrinopathy and ocular surface disease associated with SS. Consistent with human SS, autoreactive CD4(+) T cells play an indispensible role in the development of exocrine and ocular surface disease in Aire knockout mice. We report that in addition to CD4(+) T cells, a large number of macrophages infiltrate the corneal stroma, limbus, and lacrimal glands of diseased mice. Adoptive transfer of autoreactive CD4(+) T cells from Aire knockout mice led to local infiltration of macrophages and ocular surface damage in immunodeficient recipients. Depletion of local macrophages, through subconjunctival injection of clodronate liposome, attenuated lissamine green staining and improved ocular phenotype. Alternatively, systemic depletion of macrophages had no effect on ocular phenotype but led to significant improvements in lacrimal gland exocrinopathy and tear secretion. Our results suggested that autoreactive CD4(+) T cells provoked macrophage infiltration to the eye and lacrimal gland, where they played a functional role in directing the development of autoimmune dry eye.

Download full-text


Available from: Nancy A Mcnamara, Aug 27, 2014
  • Source
    • "Histopathology of the Aire KO mouse cornea undergoing SQM demonstrates persistent immune cell infiltration (indicated by open arrows) enlargement of superficial cells and morphological disorganization of corneal epithelial cells where basal cells form heterogeneous basal/parabasal clusters (Figure 1C, middle). In severe disease, corneal cells take on skin-like characteristics with increased cellular stratification, disorganization and pathological keratinization (Figure 1C, right) [4,24]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Keratinizing squamous metaplasia (SQM) of the ocular surface is a blinding consequence of systemic autoimmune disease and there is no cure. Ocular SQM is traditionally viewed as an adaptive tissue response during chronic keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) that provokes pathological keratinization of the corneal epithelium and fibrosis of the corneal stroma. Recently, we established the autoimmune regulator-knockout (Aire KO) mouse as a model of autoimmune KCS and identified an essential role for autoreactive CD4+ T cells in SQM pathogenesis. In subsequent studies, we noted the down-regulation of paired box gene 6 (Pax6) in both human patients with chronic KCS associated with Sjögren's syndrome and Aire KO mice. Pax6 encodes a pleiotropic transcription factor guiding eye morphogenesis during development. While the postnatal function of Pax6 is largely unknown, we hypothesized that its role in maintaining ocular surface homeostasis was disrupted in the inflamed eye and that loss of Pax6 played a functional role in the initiation and progression of SQM. Adoptive transfer of autoreactive T cells from Aire KO mice to immunodeficient recipients confirmed CD4+ T cells as the principal downstream effectors promoting Pax6 downregulation in Aire KO mice. CD4+ T cells required local signaling via Interleukin-1 receptor (IL-1R1) to provoke Pax6 loss, which prompted a switch from corneal-specific cytokeratin, CK12, to epidermal-specific CK10. The functional role of Pax6 loss in SQM pathogenesis was indicated by the reversal of SQM and restoration of ocular surface homeostasis following forced expression of Pax6 in corneal epithelial cells using adenovirus. Thus, tissue-restricted restoration of Pax6 prevented aberrant epidermal-lineage commitment suggesting adjuvant Pax6 gene therapy may represent a novel therapeutic approach to prevent SQM in patients with chronic inflammatory diseases of the ocular surface.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · PLoS ONE
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: SS is an autoimmune disease. pSS affects exocrine glands predominantly, whereas sSS occurs with other autoimmune connective tissue disorders. Currently, care for patients with SS is palliative, as no established therapeutics target the disease directly, and its pathogenetic mechanisms remain uncertain. B-cell abnormalities have been identified in SS. CXCL13 directs B-cell chemotaxis and is elevated in several autoimmune diseases. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that CXCL13 is elevated in SS in mice and humans and that neutralization of the chemokine ameliorates disease in a murine model. We assayed CXCL13 in mouse models and human subjects with SS to determine whether CXCL13 is elevated both locally and systemically during SS progression and whether CXCL13 may play a role in and be a biomarker for the disease. Cxcl13 expression in salivary tissue increases with disease progression, and its blockade resulted in a modest reduction in glandular inflammation in an SS model. We demonstrate that in humans CXCL13 is elevated in serum and saliva, and an elevated salivary CXCL13 level distinguishes patients with xerostomia. These data suggest a role for CXCL13 as a valuable biomarker in SS, as 74% of patients with SS displayed elevated CXCL13 in sera, saliva, or both. Thus, CXCL13 may be pathogenically involved in SS and may serve as a new marker and a potential therapeutic target.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2013 · Journal of leukocyte biology
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Dry eye is commonly associated with autoimmune diseases such as Sjögren's syndrome (SS), in which exocrinopathy of the lacrimal gland leads to aqueous tear deficiency and keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS). KCS is among the most common and debilitating clinical manifestations of SS that is often recalcitrant to therapy. We established mice deficient in the autoimmune regulator (Aire) gene as a model for autoimmune-mediated aqueous-deficient dry eye. In Aire-deficient mice, CD4+ T cells represent the main effector cells and local signaling via the interleukin-1 (IL-1/IL-1R1) pathway provides an essential link between autoreactive CD4+ T cells and ocular surface disease. In the current study, we evaluated the efficacy of topical administration of IL-1R1 antagonist (IL-1RA) anakinra in alleviating ocular surface damage resulting from aqueous-deficient dry eye in the setting of autoimmune disease. We compared the effect of commercially available IL-1R1 antagonist, anakinra (50 μg/mL concentration) to that of carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) vehicle control as a treatment for dry eye. Age-matched, Aire-deficient mice were treated three times daily with anakinra or CMC vehicle for 14 days using side-by-side (n=4 mice/group) and paired-eye (n=5) comparisons. We assessed (1) ocular surface damage with lissamine green staining; (2) tear secretion with wetting of phenol-red threads; (3) goblet cell (GC) mucin glycosylation with lectin histochemistry; (4) immune cell infiltration using anti-F4/80, CD11c, and CD4 T cell antibodies; and (5) gene expression of cornified envelope protein, Small Proline-Rich Protein-1B (SPRR1B) with real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Aire-deficient mice treated with anakinra experienced significant improvements in ocular surface integrity and tear secretion. After 7 days of treatment, lissamine green staining decreased in eyes treated with anakinra compared to an equivalent increase in staining following treatment with CMC vehicle alone. By day 14, lissamine green staining in anakinra-treated eyes remained stable while eyes treated with CMC vehicle continued to worsen. Accordingly, there was a progressive decline in tear secretion in eyes treated with the CMC vehicle compared to a progressive increase in the anakinra-treated eyes over the 2-week treatment period. Aberrant acidification of GC mucins and pathological keratinization of the ocular surface were significantly reduced in anakinra-treated eyes. Significantly fewer Maackia amurensis leukoagglutinin positive goblet cells were noted in the conjunctiva of anakinra-treated eyes with a corresponding decrease in the expression of the pathological keratinization marker, SPRR1B. Finally, there was a downward trend in the infiltration of each immune cell type following anakinra treatment, but the cell counts compared to eyes treated with the vehicle alone were not significantly different. IL-1R antagonist, anakinra, demonstrates therapeutic benefits as a topical treatment for aqueous-deficient dry eye in a spontaneous mouse model of autoimmune KCS that mimics the clinical characteristics of SS. Targeting the IL-1/IL-1R1 signaling pathway through topical administration of IL-1RA may provide a novel option to improve ocular surface integrity, increase tear secretion, and restore the normal glycosylation pattern of GC mucins in patients with SS.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · Molecular vision
Show more