Delayed onset of autoreactive antibody production and M2-skewed macrophages contribute to improved survival of TACI deficient MRL-Fas/Lpr mouse.
ABSTRACT: Anti-B cell activating factor belonging to TNF-family (BAFF) antibody therapy is indicated for the treatment of patients with active systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). We hypothesized that the BAFF receptor, transmembrane activator and calcium-modulator and cyclophilin interactor (TACI) may be responsible for the generation of antibody secreting plasma cells in SLE. To test this hypothesis, we generated TACI deficient MRL-Fas/Lpr (LPR-TACI-/-) mouse. TACI deficiency resulted in improved survival of MRL-Fas/Lpr mice and delayed production of anti-dsDNA and anti-SAM/RNP antibodies. There was also a delay in the onset of proteinuria and the accumulation of IgG and inflammatory macrophages (M?s) in the glomeruli of young LPR-TACI-/- mice compared to wild-type mice. Underscoring the role of TACI in influencing M? phenotype, the transfer of M?s from 12-week-old LPR-TACI-/- mice to age-matched sick wild-type animals led to a decrease in proteinuria and improvement in kidney pathology. The fact that, in LPR-TACI-/- mouse a more pronounced delay was in IgM and IgG3 autoreactive antibody isotypes and the kinetics of follicular helper T (Tfh) cell-development was comparable between the littermates suggest a role for TACI in T cell-independent autoantibody production in MRL-Fas/Lpr mouse prior to the onset of T cell-dependent antibody production.
Project description:Anti-DNA antibodies, specifically those that stain nuclei in a homogenous nuclear (HN) fashion, are diagnostic of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and the MRL-lpr/lpr SLE murine model. We have used a heavy chain transgene that increases the frequency of anti-HN antibodies to address whether their production in SLE is the consequence of a defect in B cell tolerance. Anti-HN B cells were undetectable in nonautoimmune-prone transgenic mice, but in MRL-lpr/lpr transgenic mice their Ig was evident in the sera and they were readily retrievable as hybridomas. We conclude that nonautoimmune animals actively delete anti-HN-specific B cells, and that MRL-lpr/lpr mice are defective in this process possibly because of the lpr defect in the fas gene.
Project description:Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease and effective therapy for this pathology is currently unavailable. We previously reported that oral administration of Naja naja atra venom (NNAV) had anti-inflammatory and immune regulatory actions. We speculated that NNAV may have therapeutic effects in MRL/lpr SLE mice. Twelve-week-old MRL/lpr mice received oral administration of NNAV (20, 40, and 80??g/kg) or Tripterygium wilfordii polyglycosidium (10?mg/kg) daily for 16 weeks. The effects of NNAV on SLE manifestations, including skin erythema, proteinuria, and anxiety-like behaviors, were assessed with visual inspection and Multistix 8 SG strips and open field test, respectively. The pathology of spleen and kidney was examined with H&E staining. The changes in autoimmune antibodies and cytokines were determined with ELISA kits. The results showed that NNAV protected against the manifestation of SLE, including skin erythema and proteinuria. In addition, although no apparent histological change was found in liver and heart in MRL/lpr SLE mice, NNAV reduced the levels of glutamate pyruvate transaminase and creatine kinase. Furthermore, NNAV increased serum C3 and reduced concentrations of circulating globulin, anti-dsDNA antibody, and inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF-?. NNAV also reduced lymphadenopathy and renal injury. These results suggest that NNAV may have therapeutic values in the treatment of SLE by inhibiting autoimmune responses.
Project description:Both multiple myeloma (MM) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are characterized with abnormal production of plasma cells. In both diseases, the process of B cells differentiate into plasmablast/plasma cell is disordered. Despite the continuous research on the development of prognostic factors and introduction of new agents, dysregulation of plasmablast/plasma cells in MM and SLE is still uncontrolled. Thus, it is necessary to explore the novel therapeutic target to plasmablast/plasma cells. We and other researchers have shown that BAFF inhibitor atacicept (TACI-IgG), leads to some degree of B cell depletion. BAFF-specific targeted therapy specifically affects early-stage B cells in the periphery without affecting late-stage compartments such as plasma cells. Specifically depletion of plasma cells could hold great potential for the treatment of autoimmune diseases. To explore the novel therapeutic target to plasma cells, we determined the gene expression profile in B cells (mainly plasma cells) from atacicept (TACI-IgG)-treated lupus-prone MRL/lpr mice by affymetrix microarrays.
Project description:Leptin is secreted by adipocytes, the placenta, and the stomach. It not only controls appetite through leptin receptors in the hypothalamus, it also regulates immunity. In the current study, we produced leptin-deficient MRL/Mp-Fas(lpr) mice to investigate the potential role of leptin in autoimmunity. C57BL/6J-ob/ob mice were backcrossed with MRL/Mp-Fas(lpr) mice, which develop human systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)-like lesions. The effects of leptin deficiency on various SLE-like manifestations were investigated in MRL/Mp-Fas(lpr) mice. The regulatory T cell population in the spleen was analyzed by flow cytometry, and the effects of leptin on regulatory T cells and Th17 cells were evaluated in vitro. Compared with leptin-producing MRL/Mp-Fas(lpr) mice, leptin-deficient MRL/Mp-Fas(lpr) mice showed less marked splenomegaly and a particularly low population of CD3(+)CD4(-)CD8(-)B220(+) T cells (lpr cells). Their serum concentrations of Abs to dsDNA were lower, and renal histological changes at age 20 wk were ameliorated. Regulatory T cells were increased in the spleens of leptin-deficient MRL/Mp-Fas(lpr) mice. Leptin suppressed regulatory T cells and enhanced Th17 cells in vitro. In conclusion, blockade of leptin signaling may be of therapeutic benefit in patients with SLE and other autoimmune diseases.
Project description:It has been shown that B cell activating factor receptor (BAFFR) is critical for B cell development and survival. In this study, we sought to evaluate the expression and function of BAFFR across multiple stains of mice that vary in their potential to develop systemic autoimmune disease. The inability of a commercial antibody to bind to BAFFR in the autoimmune prone mouse strains, MRL and MRL/Lpr led to the discovery of a mutation in TNFRSF13C gene (encoding BAFFR) that resulted in a Pro44Ser substitution in the N-terminus near the BAFF binding site in these strains. To define the biological consequences of mutant BAFFR, we compared the expression and activity of BAFFR in MRL and MRL/Lpr mice to BALB/c, which express the consensus version of TNFRSF13C. B cells from MRL and MRL/Lpr mice expressed mutant BAFFR on surface and were capable of responding to BAFF as exhibited by BAFF-mediated reduction in apoptosis and NF-?B2 activation. Signaling through MAPK ERK1/2 was not significantly induced by BAFF in MRL/Lpr mice; however, MAPK ERK1/2 signaling was intact in MRL mice. The inability of MRL/Lpr B cells to significantly activate ERK1/2 in response to BAFF was due to the high basal activity of the signaling pathway in these cells. In fact, basal activity of ERK1/2 in B cells correlated with the degree of autoimmune susceptibility exhibited by each strain. In addition, aged MRL/Lpr mice with severe autoimmune disease had high BAFF levels, low surface BAFFR, and high basal NF-?B2 activation, a pattern which is attributed to the high frequency of antibody secreting cells. We conclude that P44S BAFFR mutation does not hinder BAFFR function or enhance B cell activity in MRL/Lpr and MRL mice and that other susceptibility loci on the MRL background contributed to the hyperactivity of these cells.
Project description:KH-type splicing regulatory protein (KSRP) is an RNA-binding protein that promotes mRNA decay and thereby negatively regulates cytokine expression at the post-transcriptional level. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease characterized by dysregulated cytokine expression causing multiple organ manifestations; MRL-Fas<sup>lpr</sup> mice are an established mouse model to study lupus disease pathogenesis. To investigate the impact of KSRP on lupus disease progression, we generated KSRP-deficient MRL-Fas<sup>lpr</sup> mice (MRL-Fas<sup>lpr</sup>/KSRP<sup>-/-</sup> mice). In line with the predicted role of KSRP as a negative regulator of cytokine expression, lupus nephritis was augmented in MRL-Fas<sup>lpr</sup>/KSRP<sup>-/-</sup> mice. Increased infiltration of immune cells, especially of IFN-γ producing T cells and macrophages, driven by enhanced expression of T cell-attracting chemokines and adhesion molecules, seems to be responsible for worsened kidney morphology. Reduced expression of the anti-inflammatory interleukin-1 receptor antagonist may be another reason for severe inflammation. The increase of FoxP3<sup>+</sup> T cells detected in the kidney seems unable to dampen the massive kidney inflammation. Interestingly, lymphadenopathy was reduced in MRL-Fas<sup>lpr</sup>/KSRP<sup>-/-</sup> mice. Altogether, KSRP appears to have a complex role in immune regulation; however, it is clearly able to ameliorate lupus nephritis.
Project description:TRIM21 is one of the autoantigens that reacts with an anti-SS-A antibody (Ab) present in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and Sjögren's syndrome. TRIM21 is thought to play a role in B-cell proliferation and apoptosis, among other activities. Here we examined a pathological role of TRIM21 in SLE. Trim21-deficient MRL/lpr mice were generated by backcrossing Trim21-deficient C57BL/6 mice to MRL/lpr mice. The levels of serum anti-dsDNA Ab and urine protein at 28 weeks of age were significantly higher in Trim21-deficient MRL/lpr mice as compared to wild-type MRL/lpr mice (p = 0.029 and 0.003, respectively). Resting B cells from Trim21-deficient mice showed significantly higher abilities to differentiate into plasmablasts and to produce Ab as compared with control mice. Due to the reduction of TRIM21-mediated ubiquitylation, IRF5 protein expression was increased in Trim21-deficient MRL/lpr mice (p = 0.021), which correlated with increased plasmablast generation and immunoglobulin production. B cells from SLE patients with anti-TRIM21 Ab seropositivity also showed a significantly higher ability to differentiate into plasmablasts as compared with those without anti-TRIM21 Ab or healthy controls. These results suggest that TRIM21 dysfunction contributes to SLE pathogenesis by promoting B-cell differentiation, for which anti-TRIM21 Ab may be partly responsible.
Project description:Interleukin (IL)-9, which is produced mainly by CD4(+) T cells, is implicated in mast cell-related allergic diseases, although its involvement in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) pathogenesis remains unclear. Thus, we investigated the presence of IL-9 in lupus-prone MRL/Mp-lpr/lpr (MRL/lpr) mice and examined the role of IL-9 in lupus pathogenesis. Increased levels of IL-9(+) lymphocytes were detected in the spleens and kidneys of MRL/lpr mice and increased IL-9 levels in the spleen correlated with PNA(+) germinal center (GC) cell expansion. The percentage of CD4(+)IL-9(+) (Th9) cells was increased in MRL/lpr mice and serum IL-9 levels were elevated and closely related to the production of antibodies against double-stranded DNA (dsDNA). IL-9 appears to promote B-cell proliferation and immunoglobulin production, which could be blocked by inhibition of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3). Treatment with neutralizing anti-IL-9 antibody in vivo decreased serum anti-dsDNA-antibody titers and alleviated lupus nephritis in MRL/lpr mice. Our findings indicate expansion of Th9 cells in lupus-prone MRL/lpr mice and the correlation of IL-9 with B-cell proliferation and autoantibody production. These findings suggest that IL-9 is a potential therapeutic target for SLE.
Project description:CSF-1, required for macrophage (Mø) survival, proliferation, and activation, is upregulated in the tubular epithelial cells (TECs) during kidney inflammation. CSF-1 mediates Mø-dependent destruction in lupus-susceptible mice with nephritis and, paradoxically, Mø-dependent renal repair in lupus-resistant mice after transient ischemia/reperfusion injury (I/R). We now report that I/R leads to defective renal repair, nonresolving inflammation, and, in turn, early-onset lupus nephritis in preclinical MRL/MpJ-Faslpr/Fas(lpr) mice (MRL-Fas(lpr) mice). Moreover, defective renal repair is not unique to MRL-Fas(lpr) mice, as flawed healing is a feature of other lupus-susceptible mice (Sle 123) and MRL mice without the Fas(lpr) mutation. Increasing CSF-1 hastens renal healing after I/R in lupus-resistant mice but hinders healing, exacerbates nonresolving inflammation, and triggers more severe early-onset lupus nephritis in MRL-Fas(lpr) mice. Probing further, the time-related balance of M1 "destroyer" Mø shifts toward the M2 "healer" phenotype in lupus-resistant mice after I/R, but M1 Mø continue to dominate in MRL-Fas(lpr) mice. Moreover, hypoxic TECs release mediators, including CSF-1, that are responsible for stimulating the expansion of M1 Mø inherently poised to destroy the kidney in MRL-Fas(lpr) mice. In conclusion, I/R induces CSF-1 in injured TECs that expands aberrant Mø (M1 phenotype), mediating defective renal repair and nonresolving inflammation, and thereby hastens the onset of lupus nephritis.
Project description:OBJECTIVE: This study was performed to investigate the therapeutic effects of iguratimod in a lupus mouse model. METHODS: Female MRL/lpr mice were treated with iguratimod, vehicle solution or cyclophosphamide. Proteinuria was monitored and kidney injury was blindly scored by a renal pathologist. Serum anti-double-stranded DNA antibodies were monitored by radioimmunoassay. Kidney IgG and CD20 were stained by immunohistochemistry. Splenic lymphocyte phenotypes were analyzed by flow cytometry. BAFF, IL-17A, IL-6, and IL-21 levels in serum and splenic lymphocytes were detected by ELISA or quantitative PCR. RESULTS: Compared with the vehicle-treated controls, MRL/lpr mice treated with iguratimod showed less protenuria, less acute pathological lesions and no chronic changes in the kidneys. There were significant differences in glomerular injury and vasculitis scores, as well as in the semi-quantitative analysis of immune complex deposition between the two groups. Disease activity markers in sera (anti-dsDNA antibodies and immunoglobulin levels) were reduced and hypocomplementemia was attenuated. Lymphocyte expression of BAFF, IL-6, IL-17A and IL-21 was decreased. The abnormal splenic B220+ T cell and plasma cell populations in MRL/lpr mice were reduced by iguratimod treatment, with recovery of the total B cell population and inhibition of B cell infiltration of the kidney tissue. The dosage of iguratimod used in this study showed no significant cytotoxic effects in vivo and no overt side-effects were observed. CONCLUSION: Iguratimod ameliorates immune nephritis in MRL/lpr mice via a non-antiproliferative mechanism. Our data suggest a potential therapeutic role of iguratimod in lupus.