Dispensability of APRIL to the development of systemic lupus erythematosus in NZM 2328 mice.
ABSTRACT: To determine the role of APRIL in the development of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in mice.Wild-type (WT) NZM 2328, NZM. April(-/-) , NZM.Baff(-/-) , and NZM.Baff(-/-) .April(-/-) mice were evaluated for lymphocyte phenotype by flow cytometry, for serum total IgG and IgG autoantibody levels by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, for glomerular deposition of IgG and C3 by immunofluorescence, for renal changes by histopathology, and for clinical disease by laboratory assessment (severe proteinuria).In comparison to WT mice, NZM.April(-/-) mice harbored increased spleen B cells, T cells, and plasma cells (PCs), increased serum levels of IgG antichromatin antibodies, and decreased numbers of bone marrow (BM) PCs. Glomerular deposition of IgG and C3 was similar in NZM.April(-/-) mice and WT mice, renal changes on histopathology tended to be more severe in NZM.April(-/-) mice than in WT mice, and development of clinical disease was identical in NZM.April(-/-) mice and WT mice. BM (but not spleen) PCs and serum IgG antichromatin and anti-double-stranded DNA antibody levels were lower in NZM.Baff(-/-) .April(-/-) mice than in NZM.Baff(-/-) mice, whereas renal immunopathology in each cohort was equally mild.APRIL is dispensable for the development of full-blown SLE in NZM mice. Moreover, the elimination of both APRIL and BAFF had no discernible effect on the development of renal immunopathology or clinical disease beyond that of elimination of BAFF alone. The reduction in BM PCs in hosts doubly deficient in APRIL and BAFF beyond that in hosts deficient only in BAFF raises concern that combined antagonism of APRIL and BAFF may lead to greater immunosuppression without a concomitant increase in therapeutic efficacy.
Project description:Inappropriate activation of type I IFN plays a key role in the pathogenesis of autoimmune disease, including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). In this study, we report the presence of IFN activation in SLE bone marrow (BM), as measured by an IFN gene signature, increased IFN regulated chemokines, and direct production of IFN by BM-resident cells, associated with profound changes in B cell development. The majority of SLE patients had an IFN signature in the BM that was more pronounced than the paired peripheral blood and correlated with both higher autoantibodies and disease activity. Pronounced alterations in B cell development were noted in SLE in the presence of an IFN signature with a reduction in the fraction of pro/pre-B cells, suggesting an inhibition in early B cell development and an expansion of B cells at the transitional stage. These B cell changes strongly correlated with an increase in BAFF and APRIL expression in the IFN-high BM. Furthermore, we found that BM neutrophils in SLE were prime producers of IFN-? and B cell factors. In NZM lupus-prone mice, similar changes in B cell development were observed and mediated by IFN, given abrogation in NZM mice lacking type-I IFNR. BM neutrophils were abundant, responsive to, and producers of IFN, in close proximity to B cells. These results indicate that the BM is an important but previously unrecognized target organ in SLE with neutrophil-mediated IFN activation and alterations in B cell ontogeny and selection.
Project description:The coordinated regulation of chemokine responsiveness plays a critical role in the development of humoral immunity. After antigen challenge and B cell activation, the emerging plasma cells (PCs) undergo CXCL12-induced chemotaxis to the bone marrow, where they produce Ab and persist. Here we show that PCs, but not B cells or T cells from lupus-prone NZM mice, are deficient in CXCL12-induced migration. PC unresponsiveness to CXCL12 results in a marked accumulation of PCs in the spleen of mice, and a concordant decrease in bone marrow PCs. Unlike normal mice, in NZM mice, a majority of the splenic PCs are long-lived. This deficiency is a consequence of the genetic interactions of multiple systemic lupus erythematosus susceptibility loci.
Project description:CD1d-restricted invariant NKT (iNKT) cells boost humoral immunity to T-dependent Ags that are coadministered with the CD1d-binding glycolipid Ag ?-galactosylceramide (?-GC). Observations that mice lacking iNKT cells have decaying Ab responses following vaccination have led to the hypothesis that iNKT cells express plasma cell (PC) survival factors that sustain specific Ab titers. Bone marrow chimeric mice in which the entire hematopoietic compartment or iNKT cells selectively lacked BAFF, a proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL), or both BAFF and APRIL were created and immunized with nitrophenol hapten-conjugated keyhole limpet hemocyanin adsorbed to Imject aluminum hydroxide-containing adjuvant or mixed with ?-GC. In comparison with BAFF- or APRIL-sufficient bone marrow chimeras, absence of hematopoietic compartment- and iNKT-derived BAFF and APRIL was associated with rapidly decaying Ab titers and reduced PC numbers. The iNKT cell-derived BAFF or APRIL assumed a greater role in PC survival when ?-GC was used as the adjuvant for immunization. These results show that iNKT cell-derived BAFF and APRIL each contribute to survival of PCs induced by immunization. This study sheds new light on the mechanisms through which iNKT cells impact humoral immunity and may inform design of vaccines that incorporate glycolipid adjuvants.
Project description:Despite exhibiting oncogenic events, patient's leukemia cells are responsive and dependent on signals from their malignant bone marrow (BM) microenvironment, which modulate their survival, cell cycle progression, trafficking and resistance to chemotherapy. Identification of the signaling pathways mediating this leukemia/microenvironment interplay is critical for the development of novel molecular targeted therapies.We observed that primary leukemia B-cell precursors aberrantly express receptors of the BAFF-system, BAFF-R, BCMA, and TACI. These receptors are functional as their ligation triggers activation of NF-?B, MAPK/JNK, and Akt signaling. Leukemia cells express surface BAFF and APRIL ligands, and soluble BAFF is significantly higher in leukemia patients in comparison to age-matched controls. Interestingly, leukemia cells also express surface APRIL, which seems to be encoded by APRIL-?, a novel isoform that lacks the furin convertase domain. Importantly, we observed BM microenvironmental cells express the ligands BAFF and APRIL, including surface and secreted BAFF by BM endothelial cells. Functional studies showed that signals through BAFF-system receptors impact the survival and basal proliferation of leukemia B-cell precursors, and support the involvement of both homotypic and heterotypic mechanisms.This study shows an unforeseen role for the BAFF-system in the biology of precursor B-cell leukemia, and suggests that the target disruption of BAFF signals may constitute a valid strategy for the treatment of this cancer.
Project description:The effects of B cell-activating factor belonging to the TNF family (BAFF) on B cell maturation and survival in the mouse are relatively well understood. In contrast, little is known about the role of BAFF in B cell development in other mammals, such as rabbits, that use GALT to develop and maintain the B cell compartment. We examined the expression and requirement of BAFF and a proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL) during peripheral B cell development in young rabbits. By neutralizing BAFF and APRIL in neonates with a soluble decoy receptor, transmembrane activator calcium modulator and cyclophilin ligand interactor-Fc, we found a marked reduction in the number of peripheral B cells, but found no change in the bone marrow (BM) compartment. In the appendix, the size and number of proliferating B cell follicles were greatly reduced, demonstrating that although BAFF/APRIL is dispensable for B cell development in BM, it is required for B cell development in GALT. We found that all rabbit B cells expressed BAFF receptor 3, but did not bind rBAFF, suggesting that the BAFF-binding receptors (BBRs) are bound by endogenous soluble BAFF. Further, we found that B cells themselves express BAFF, suggesting that the soluble BAFF bound to BBRs may be endogenously produced and stimulate B cells in an autocrine fashion. Additionally, we propose that this chronic occupancy of BBRs on B cells may provide a tonic and/or survival signal for the maintenance of peripheral B cells in adults after B lymphopoiesis is arrested in BM.
Project description:Type I IFNs are potent regulators of innate and adaptive immunity and are implicated in the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus. Here we report that clinical and pathological lupus nephritis and serum anti-nuclear Ab levels are greatly attenuated in New Zealand Mixed (NZM) 2328 mice deficient in type I IFN receptors (IFNAR). To determine whether the inflammatory environment in NZM 2328 mice leads to IFNAR-regulated changes in dendritic cells (DC), the number, activation, and function of DC subsets were compared in 2- and 5-mo-old (clinically healthy) female NZM and NZM-IFNAR(-/-) mice. Numbers of activated CD40(high) plasmacytoid DC (pDC) were significantly increased in renal lymph nodes of 2-mo-old NZM but not NZM-IFNAR(-/-) mice, suggesting an early IFNAR-dependent expansion and activation of pDC at disease sites. Relative to NZM spleens, NZM-IFNAR(-/-) spleens in 5-mo-old mice were significantly decreased in size and contained reduced numbers of conventional DC subsets, but not pDC. Splenic and renal lymph node NZM-IFNAR(-/-) DC analyzed directly ex vivo expressed significantly less CD40, CD86, and PDL1 than did NZM DC. Upon activation with synthetic TLR9 ligands in vitro, splenic NZM-IFNAR(-/-) DC produced less IL-12p40/70 and TNF-alpha than did NZM DC. The limited IFNAR(-/-) DC response to endogenous activating stimuli correlated with reduced numbers of splenic activated memory CD4(+) T cells and CD19(+) B cells in older mice. Thus, IFNAR signaling significantly increases DC numbers, acquisition of Ag presentation competence, and proinflammatory function before onset of clinically apparent lupus disease.
Project description:BAFF inhibition is a new B cell-directed therapeutic strategy for autoimmune disease. Our purpose was to analyze the effect of BAFF/APRIL availability on the naive and Ag-activated B cell repertoires in systemic lupus erythematosus, using the autoreactive germline D42 H chain (glD42H) site-directed transgenic NZB/W mouse. In this article, we show that the naive V? repertoire in both young and diseased glD42H NZB/W mice is dominated by five L chains that confer no or low-affinity polyreactivity. In contrast, glD42H B cells expressing L chains that confer high-affinity autoreactivity are mostly deleted before the mature B cell stage, but are positively selected and expanded in the germinal centers (GCs) as the mice age. Of these, the most abundant is V?RF (V?16-104*01), which is expressed by almost all IgG anti-DNA hybridomas derived from the glD42H mouse. Competition with nonautoreactive B cells or BAFF/APRIL inhibition significantly inhibited selection of glD42H B cells at the late transitional stage, with only subtle effects on the glD42H-associated L chain repertoire. However, glD42H/V?RF-encoded B cells were still vastly overrepresented in the GC, and serum IgG anti-DNA Abs arose with only a slight delay. Thus, although BAFF/APRIL inhibition increases the stringency of negative selection of the naive autoreactive B cell repertoire in NZB/W mice, it does not correct the major breach in B cell tolerance that occurs at the GC checkpoint.
Project description:Tissue-specific immune responses play an important role in the pathology of autoimmune diseases. In systemic lupus erythematosus, deposits of IgG-immune complexes and the activation of complement in the kidney have long been thought to promote inflammation and lupus nephritis. However, the events that localize cells in non-lymphoid tertiary organs and sustain tissue-specific immune responses remain undefined. In this manuscript, we show that BAFF promotes events leading to lupus nephritis. Using an inducible model of systemic lupus erythematosus, we found that passive transfer of antinucleosome IgG into AID-/-MRL/lpr mice elevated autoantibody levels and promoted lupus nephritis by inducing BAFF production in the kidneys, and the formation of renal tertiary lymphoid structures (TLSs). Reducing BAFF in vivo prevented the formation of TLSs and lupus nephritis; however, it did not reduce immune cell infiltrates, or the deposits of IgG and complement in the kidney. Mechanistically, lowering BAFF levels also diminished the number of T cells positioned inside the glomeruli and reduced inflammation. Thus, BAFF plays a previously unappreciated role in lupus nephritis by inducing renal TLSs and regulating the position of T cells within the glomeruli.
Project description:Current models hold that serum Ab titers are maintained chiefly by long-lived bone marrow (BM) plasma cells (PCs). In this study, we characterize the role of subpopulations of BM PCs in long-term humoral responses to T cell-dependent Ag. Surprisingly, our results indicate that 40-50% of BM PCs are recently formed cells, defined, in part, by rapid steady-state turnover kinetics and secretion of low-affinity IgM Abs. Further, for months after immunization with a hapten-protein conjugate, newly formed Ag-induced, IgM-secreting BM PCs were detected in parallel with longer-lived IgG-secreting cells, suggesting ongoing and parallel input to the BM PC pool from two distinct pools of activated B cells. Consistent with this interpretation, IgM and IgG Abs secreted by cells within distinct PC subsets exhibited distinct L chain usage. We conclude that long-term Ab responses are maintained by a dynamic BM PC pool composed of both recently formed and long-lived PCs drawn from clonally disparate precursors.
Project description:B cell activation factor of the TNF family (BAFF) is a potent B cell survival factor. BAFF overexpressing transgenic mice (BAFF-Tg mice) exhibit features of autoimmune disease, including B cell hyperplasia and hypergammaglobulinemia, and develop fatal nephritis with age. However, basal serum IgA levels are also elevated, suggesting that the pathology in these mice may be more complex than initially appreciated. Consistent with this, we demonstrate here that BAFF-Tg mice have mesangial deposits of IgA along with high circulating levels of polymeric IgA that is aberrantly glycosylated. Renal disease in BAFF-Tg mice was associated with IgA, because serum IgA was highly elevated in nephritic mice and BAFF-Tg mice with genetic deletion of IgA exhibited less renal pathology. The presence of commensal flora was essential for the elevated serum IgA phenotype, and, unexpectedly, commensal bacteria-reactive IgA antibodies were found in the blood. These data illustrate how excess B cell survival signaling perturbs the normal balance with the microbiota, leading to a breach in the normal mucosal-peripheral compartmentalization. Such breaches may predispose the nonmucosal system to certain immune diseases. Indeed, we found that a subset of patients with IgA nephropathy had elevated serum levels of a proliferation inducing ligand (APRIL), a cytokine related to BAFF. These parallels between BAFF-Tg mice and human IgA nephropathy may provide a new framework to explore connections between mucosal environments and renal pathology.