Ly9 (CD229) Antibody Targeting Depletes Marginal Zone and Germinal Center B Cells in Lymphoid Tissues and Reduces Salivary Gland Inflammation in a Mouse Model of Sjogren's Syndrome.
ABSTRACT: Sjögren's Syndrome (SjS) is a common chronic autoimmune disease characterized by the B cell hyperactivation, lymphocyte infiltration, and tissue damage of exocrine glands. It can also present life-threatening extraglandular manifestations, such as pulmonary and hepatic involvement, renal inflammation and marginal zone (MZ) B cell lymphoma. Several biologic agents have been tested in SjS but none has shown significant efficacy. Here, we report the effects of Ly9 (CD229) antibody targeting, a cell surface molecule that belongs to the SLAM family of immunomodulatory receptors, using NOD.H-2h4 mice as a model of SjS-like disease. Female mice were treated with anti-Ly9 antibody or isotype control at week 24, when all mice present SjS related autoantibodies, salivary gland infiltrates, and marginal zone (MZ) B cell pool enlargement. Antibody injection depleted key lymphocyte subsets involved in SjS pathology such as MZ, B1, and germinal center B cells in spleen and draining lymph nodes without inducing a general immunosuppression. Importantly, mice receiving anti-Ly9 mAb showed a reduced lymphocyte infiltrate within salivary glands. This reduction may be, in part, explained by the down-regulation of L-selectin and alfa4/beta7 integrin induced by the anti-Ly9 antibody. Furthermore, levels of anti-nuclear autoantibodies were reduced after anti-Ly9 treatment. These data indicate that Ly9 is a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of SjS.
Project description:Primary Sjögren's syndrome (SjS) is an autoimmune disorder characterized by lymphocytic infiltration of the salivary and lacrimal glands, B-cell clonal expansions and an increased risk of lymphoma. In order to understand the role of B cells in this disorder, the antibody repertoire and B-cell maturation were studied in a mouse model of SjS called B6.Aec1/2.B6.Aec1/2 serum was analyzed for antibodies by ELISA and immunoprecipitation, B-cell development by flow cytometry, and antibody gene rearrangements by CDR3 spectratyping and quantitative PCR. In order to test the functional consequences of the observed defects, B6.Aec1/2 mice were crossed with anti-dsDNA antibody heavy chain knock-in mice (B6.56R).B6.Aec1/2 mice exhibit B-cell clonal expansions, have altered serum immunoglobulin levels and spontaneously produce multireactive autoantibodies. B6.Aec1/2 mice also have decreased numbers of bone marrow pre-B cells and decreased frequencies of kappa light chain gene deletion. These findings suggest that B6.Aec1/2 mice have a defective early B-cell tolerance checkpoint. B6.56R.Aec1/2 mice unexpectedly had lower anti-dsDNA antibody levels than B6.56R mice and less salivary gland infiltration than B6.Aec1/2 mice.These data suggest that the early tolerance checkpoint defect in B6.Aec1/2 mice is not sufficient to promulgate disease in mice with pre-formed autoantibodies, such as B6.56R. Rather, B6.Aec1/2 mice may require a diverse B-cell repertoire for efficient T-B-cell collaboration and disease propagation. These findings imply that therapies aimed at reducing B-cell diversity or T-B interactions may be helpful in treating SjS.
Project description:Sjögren's syndrome (SjS) is a chronic autoimmune disease that mainly targets the salivary and lacrimal glands. It has been controversial whether anti-muscarinic type 3 receptor (?-M3R) autoantibodies in patients with SjS inhibit intracellular trafficking of aquaporin-5 (AQP5), water transport protein, leading to secretory dysfunction. To address this issue, GFP-tagged human AQP5 was overexpressed in human salivary gland cells (HSG-hAQP5) and monitored AQP5 trafficking to the plasma membrane following carbachol (CCh, M3R agonist) stimulation. AQP5 trafficking was indeed mediated by M3R stimulation, shown in partial blockage of trafficking by M3R-antagonist 4-DAMP. HSG-hAQP5 pre-incubated with SjS plasma for 24 hours significantly reduced AQP5 trafficking with CCh, compared with HSG-hAQP5 pre-incubated with healthy control (HC) plasma. This inhibition was confirmed by monoclonal ?-M3R antibody and pre-absorbed plasma. Interestingly, HSG-hAQP5 pre-incubated with SjS plasma showed no change in cell volume, compared to the cells incubated with HC plasma showing shrinkage by twenty percent after CCh-stimulation. Our findings clearly indicate that binding of anti-M3R autoantibodies to the receptor, which was verified by immunoprecipitation, suppresses AQP5 trafficking to the membrane and contribute to impaired fluid secretion in SjS. Our current study urges further investigations of clinical associations between SjS symptoms, such as degree of secretory dysfunction, cognitive impairment, and/or bladder irritation, and different profiles (titers, isotypes, and/or specificity) of anti-M3R autoantibodies in individuals with SjS.
Project description:Sjögren's syndrome (SjS) is an autoimmune condition that primarily affects salivary and lacrimal glands, causing loss of secretion. We have previously shown that microRNA-146a (miR-146a) is over-expressed in the salivary glands and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of SjS-prone mice (C57BL/6.NOD-Aec1Aec2, B6DC) and in PBMC of SjS patients. The purpose of this research was to identify a target molecule of miR-146a and identify subpopulations of cells affected by altered miR-146a in the salivary glands of SjS-prone mice. In silico analyses identified costimulatory molecule CD80 as a potential target of miR-146a. Luciferase assay of the human CD80 3'untranslated region demonstrated miR-146a directly inhibited CD80 protein expression as indicated by reduced luciferase reporter expression and an examination of B6DC salivary glands revealed a reduction in CD80 protein. More interestingly, the specific reduction in CD80 protein was detected from the salivary gland epithelial cell population and in interstitial dendritic cells in the glands as well. The reduction in CD80 protein levels in salivary gland epithelial cells were negatively associated with elevated miR-146a expression. Therefore, this study provides the first indication that salivary gland epithelial cells may be critically involved in SjS progression by altering CD86:CD80 protein ratio in response to miR-146a upregulation.
Project description:The Signaling Lymphocyte Activation Molecule Family (SLAMF) genes, which encode cell-surface receptors that modulate innate and adaptive immune responses, lay within a genomic region of human and mouse chromosome 1 that confers a predisposition for the development of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Herein, we demonstrate that the SLAMF member Ly9 arises as a novel receptor contributing to the reinforcement of tolerance. Specifically, Ly9-deficient mice spontaneously developed features of systemic autoimmunity such as the production of anti-nuclear antibodies (ANA), -dsDNA, and -nucleosome autoantibodies, independently of genetic background [(B6.129) or (BALB/c.129)]. In aged (10- to 12-month-old) Ly9 (-/-) mice key cell subsets implicated in autoimmunity were expanded, e.g., T follicular helper (Tfh) as well as germinal center (GC) B cells. More importantly, in vitro functional experiments showed that Ly9 acts as an inhibitory receptor of IFN-? producing CD4(+) T cells. Taken together, our findings reveal that the Ly9 receptor triggers cell intrinsic safeguarding mechanisms to prevent a breach of tolerance, emerging as a new non-redundant inhibitory cell-surface receptor capable of disabling autoantibody responses.
Project description:Marginal zone (MZ) and B1 B cells have the capacity to respond to foreign Ags more rapidly than conventional B cells, providing early immune responses to blood-borne pathogens. Ly9 (CD229, SLAMF3), a member of the signaling lymphocytic activation molecule family receptors, has been implicated in the development and function of innate T lymphocytes. In this article, we provide evidence that in Ly9-deficient mice splenic transitional 1, MZ, and B1a B cells are markedly expanded, whereas development of B lymphocytes in bone marrow is unaltered. Consistent with an increased number of these B cell subsets, we detected elevated levels of IgG3 natural Abs and a striking increase of T-independent type II Abs after immunization with 2,4,6-trinitrophenyl-Ficoll in the serum of Ly9-deficient mice. The notion that Ly9 could be a negative regulator of innate-like B cell responses was supported by the observation that administering an mAb directed against Ly9 to wild-type mice selectively eliminated splenic MZ B cells and significantly reduced the numbers of B1 and transitional 1 B cells. In addition, Ly9 mAb dramatically diminished in vivo humoral responses and caused a selective downregulation of the CD19/CD21/CD81 complex on B cells and concomitantly an impaired B cell survival and activation in an Fc-independent manner. We conclude that altered signaling caused by the absence of Ly9 or induced by anti-Ly9 may negatively regulate development and function of innate-like B cells by modulating B cell activation thresholds. The results suggest that Ly9 could serve as a novel target for the treatment of B cell-related diseases.
Project description:Sjogren's syndrome (SjS) is a chronic autoimmune disorder characterized by immune cell infiltration and progressive injury to the salivary and lacrimal glands. As a consequence, patients with SjS develop xerostomia (dry mouth) and keratoconjunctivitis sicca (dry eyes). SjS is the third most common rheumatic autoimmune disorder, affecting 4 million Americans with over 90% of patients being female. Current diagnostic criteria for SjS frequently utilize histological examinations of minor salivary glands for immune cell foci, serology for autoantibodies, and dry eye evaluation by corneal or conjunctival staining. SjS can be classified as primary or secondary SjS, depending on whether it occurs alone or in association with other systemic rheumatic conditions, respectively. Clinical manifestations typically become apparent when the disease is relatively advanced in SjS patients, which poses a challenge for early diagnosis and treatment of SjS. Therefore, SjS mouse models, because of their close resemblance to the human SjS, have been extremely valuable to identify early disease markers and to investigate underlying biological and immunological dysregulations. However, it is important to bear in mind that no single mouse model has duplicated all aspects of SjS pathogenesis and clinical features, mainly due to the multifactorial etiology of SjS that includes numerous susceptibility genes and environmental factors. As such, various mouse models have been developed in the field to try to recapitulate SjS. In this review, we focus on recent mouse models of primary SjS xerostomia and describe them under three categories of spontaneous, genetically engineered, and experimentally induced models. In addition, we discuss future perspectives highlighting pros and cons of utilizing mouse models and current demands for improved models.
Project description:Sjögren's syndrome (SjS) is a human autoimmune disease characterized by exocrine dysfunction resulting from chronic autoimmune attack primarily against the lacrimal and/or salivary glands. Although, we previously established a good correlation between SjS in humans and autoimmune exocrinopathy in NOD/LtJ mice an in-depth evaluation of lacrimal gland disease in the NOD/LtJ mouse has remained limited. This leaves a major gap in our understanding of the dacryoadenitis/keratoconjunctivitis sicca in this model. Here we characterize the development of the autoimmune dacryoadenitis in NOD/LtJ and NOD.B10-H2(b) mice in comparison with age- and sex-matched nonautoimmune CD1 mice. We observed a decline in tear production beginning at 8 weeks of age in both NOD/LtJ and NOD.B10-H2(b) mice, continuing throughout the 40 to 46 weeks studied. This correlated with a quantifiable increase in mixed T- and B-lymphocyte infiltrations in the extraorbital lacrimal glands. In addition, temporal differences in tear protein expression between NOD/LtJ and CD1 mice were identified using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and tandem mass spectrometry. Thus, using this model we can identify potentially important pathophysiological mechanisms of the autoimmune attack and possible diagnostic markers for development of SjS-associated dacryoadenitis.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs), small non-coding RNA molecules that post-transcriptionally regulate gene expression, are known to play key roles in regulating immune responses and autoimmunity. We investigated miR-146a expression in Sjögren's syndrome (SjS) patients as well as in the SjS-prone C57BL/6.NOD-Aec1Aec2 mouse model, to elucidate its involvement in SjS pathogenesis. Expression of miR-146a was examined in the PBMCs of 25 SjS patients and ten healthy donors, as well as in PBMCs, salivary and lacrimal glands of SjS-prone mice and WT C57BL/6J mice. Functional assays using THP-1 human monocytes were conducted to determine the biological roles of miR-146a in innate immunity. Expression of miR-146a was significantly increased in SjS patients compared with healthy controls, and was upregulated in the salivary glands and PBMCs of the SjS-prone mouse at both 8?wk (prior to disease onset) and 20?wk (full-blown disease) of age. More importantly, functional analysis revealed roles for miR-146a in increasing phagocytic activity and suppressing inflammatory cytokine production while migration, nitric oxide production and expression of antigen-presenting/costimulatory molecules are not affected in human monocytic THP-1 cells. Taken together, our data suggest that abnormal expression/regulation of microRNAs in innate immunity may contribute to, or be indicative of, the initiation and progression of SjS.
Project description:Programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) down-modulates various immune responses by engaging the co-inhibitory receptor programmed death-1. Expression of PD-L1 and programmed death-1 is elevated in the salivary glands of patients with Sjögren's syndrome (SS). The objective of this study is to define the role of endogenous PD-L1 in SS pathogenesis in non-obese diabetic (NOD) mouse model of this disease. We inhibited endogenous PD-L1 function by intraperitoneal administration of a blocking antibody to 6 week-old female NOD/ShiLtJ mice repeatedly during a 9-day period. PD-L1 blockade accelerated leukocyte infiltration and caspase-3 activation in the submandibular gland (SMG), production of antinuclear and anti-M3 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (M3R) autoantibodies and impairment of saliva secretion, indicative of accelerated development and onset of SS. The effect of PD-L1 blockade was associated with increased T- and B cells and T helper 1 cytokine IFN-? in the SMG. Local administration of exogenous IFN-? to the SMG led to impaired salivary secretion accompanied by down-regulation of aquaporin 5 and an increase in anti-M3R autoantibodies. Conversely, neutralization of IFN-? markedly improved salivary secretion and aquaporin 5 expression in anti-PD-L1-treated NOD/ShiLtJ mice. Hence, endogenous PD-L1 hinders the development and onset of SS in NOD mice, in part by suppressing IFN-? production.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Primary Sjögren's syndrome (SS) is characterized by autoimmune activation and loss of function in secretory epithelia. The present study was undertaken to investigate and characterize changes in the epithelia associated with the loss of gland function in primary SS. METHODS:To identify changes in epithelial gene expression, custom microarrays were probed with complementary RNA (cRNA) isolated from minor salivary glands (MSGs) of female patients with primary SS who had low focus scores and low salivary flow rates, and the results were compared with those obtained using cRNA from the MSGs of sex-matched healthy volunteers. The effect of bone morphogenetic protein 6 (BMP-6) on salivary gland function was tested using adeno-associated virus-mediated gene transfer to the salivary glands of C57BL/6 mice. RESULTS:A significant increase in expression of BMP-6 was observed in RNA isolated from SS patients compared with healthy volunteers. Overexpression of BMP-6 locally in the salivary or lacrimal glands of mice resulted in the loss of fluid secretion as well as changes in the connective tissue of the salivary gland. Assessment of the fluid movement in either isolated acinar cells from mice overexpressing BMP-6 or a human salivary gland cell line cultured with BMP-6 revealed a loss in volume regulation in these cells. Lymphocytic infiltration in the submandibular gland of BMP-6 vector-treated mice was increased. No significant changes in the production of proinflammatory cytokines or autoantibodies associated with SS (anti-Ro/SSA and anti-La/SSB) were found after BMP-6 overexpression. CONCLUSION:In addition to identifying BMP-6 expression in association with xerostomia and xerophthalmia in primary SS, the present results suggest that BMP-6-induced salivary and lacrimal gland dysfunction in primary SS is independent of the autoantibodies and immune activation associated with the disease.