Involvement of Aquaporins in the Pathogenesis, Diagnosis and Treatment of Sjogren's Syndrome.
ABSTRACT: Sjögren's syndrome (SS) is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by lymphocytic infiltration of salivary and lacrimal glands resulting in diminished production of saliva and tears. The pathophysiology of SS has not yet been fully deciphered. Classically it has been postulated that sicca symptoms in SS patients are a double step process whereby lymphocytic infiltration of lacrimal and salivary glands (SG) is followed by epithelial cell destruction resulting in keratoconjunctivitis sicca and xerostomia. Recent advances in the field of the pathophysiology of SS have brought in new players, such as aquaporins (AQPs) and anti AQPs autoantibodies that could explain underlying mechanistic processes and unveil new pathophysiological pathways offering a deeper understanding of the disease. In this review, we delineate the link between the AQP and SS, focusing on salivary glands, and discuss the role of AQPs in the treatment of SS-induced xerostomia.
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.
Project description:Sjögren syndrome (SS) is an immunologically complex, chronic autoimmune disease targeting lacrimal and salivary glands. Nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice spontaneously develop inflammation of lacrimal and salivary glands with histopathological features similar to SS in humans including focal lymphocytic infiltrates in the affected glands. The innate immune signals driving lymphocytic infiltration of these glands are not well-defined. Here we evaluate the role of Toll-like receptor (TLR) 7 in the development of SS-like manifestations in NOD mice. We created a <i>Tlr7</i> knockout NOD mouse strain and performed histological and gene expression studies to characterize the effects of TLR7 on autoimmunity development. TLR7 was required for male-specific lacrimal gland inflammation but not for female-specific salivary gland inflammation. Moreover, TLR7 was required for type 1 diabetes development in male but not female NOD mice. RNA sequencing demonstrated that TLR7 was associated with a type I interferon (IFN) response and a type I IFN-independent B cell response in the lacrimal glands. Together these studies identify a previously unappreciated pathogenic role for TLR7 in lacrimal gland autoimmunity and T1D development in male NOD mice adding to the growing body of evidence supporting sex differences in mechanisms of autoimmune disease in NOD mice.
Project description:Sjögren's syndrome (SS) is characterized by xerostomia. We aimed to investigate and compare gene expressions in the labial salivary glands of SS patients with xerostomia SS (sicca) and without xerostomia SS (non-sicca) and of healthy subjects (HS) by means of microarray analysis, and to find genes involved in xerostomia. The study group comprised 11 SS patients (3 SS (sicca) and 8 SS (non-sicca)) and 9 HS. The relative gene expression changes were validated with RT-qPCR in the larger study group. Among the differently expressed genes belonging to the "secretion" ontology group with a fold change >2 and with a p value < 0.05, the Transmembrane P24 Trafficking Protein 10 (TMED10), Protein Disulfide Isomerase Family A Member 4 (PDIA4), Calnexin (CANX), Amyloid Beta Precursor Protein (APP), and Transmembrane BAX Inhibitor Motif Containing 6 (TMBIM6) gene expressions in both SS (sicca) and SS (non-sicca) groups were lower than in HS. Significant correlations were observed between TMED10, PDIA4, and CANX gene expression in SS (sicca) patients compared to the controls. There were no differences between the SS (sicca) and SS (non-sicca) study groups in the expression of the aforementioned genes. Results indicate their role in the endoplasmic reticulum system, their overlapping function and the loss of the APP neuroprotective function in xerostomia. It has a multifactorial origin and can be triggered by disturbances to the various signaling pathways in saliva secretion.
Project description:Osteopontin (Opn) is a cytokine involved in both physiological and pathological processes, and is elevated in many autoimmune diseases. Sjögren's syndrome (SS) is an autoimmune disease with a strong female predilection characterized by lymphocytic infiltration of exocrine glands. We hypothesized that Opn contributes to SS pathogenesis. We examined an established SS model and found increased Opn locally and systemically. Next, we examined Opn transgenic (Opn Tg) mice for evidence of SS. Opn Tg animals exhibited lymphocytic infiltration of salivary and lacrimal glands, and Opn co-localized with the infiltrates. Moreover, saliva production was reduced, and SS autoantibodies were observed in the serum of these mice. Finally, female Opn Tg mice showed more severe disease compared to males. Taken together, these data support a role for Opn in SS pathogenesis. We identify a new model of spontaneous SS that recapitulates the human disease in terms of sex predilection, histopathology, salivary deficits, and autoantibodies.
Project description:Primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS) is a systemic autoimmune disease characterized by dysfunction and lymphocytic infiltration of the salivary and lacrimal glands. Besides the characteristic sicca complaints, pSS patients can present a spectrum of signs and symptoms, which challenges the diagnostic process. Various imaging techniques can be used to assist in the diagnostic work-up and follow-up of pSS patients. Developments in imaging techniques provide new opportunities and perspectives. In this descriptive review, we discuss imaging techniques that are used in pSS with a focus on the salivary glands. The emphasis is on the contribution of these techniques to the diagnosis of pSS, their potential in assessing disease activity and disease progression in pSS, and their contribution to diagnosing and staging of pSS-associated lymphomas. Imaging findings of the salivary glands will be linked to histopathological changes in the salivary glands of pSS patients.
Project description:Sjogren's syndrome (SS) is an autoimmune disease, among the most common ones, that targets mainly the exocrine glands as well as extra-glandular epithelial tissues. Their lymphocytic infiltration leads to manifestations from other organs (e.g., kidneys, lungs, liver, or thyroid), apart from sicca symptoms (xerostomia and keratoconjunctivitis). SS is more prevalent in women than in men (9:1). Moreover, p.SS patients are in increased risk to develop lymphoma. Certain autoantibodies (e.g., antibodies against ribonucleoprotein autoantigens Ro-SSA and La-SSB) are ultimate hallmarks for the disease. It was not known until recently that culture-independent techniques like next-generation sequencing (NGS) facilitate the study of the microbe communities in humans and scientists achieved to define the outlines of the microbiome contribution in health and disease. Researchers have started to investigate the alterations in diversity of the oral, ocular, or intestinal microbiota in SS. Recent studies indicate that dysbiosis may play a significant role in SS pathogenesis. At the same time, the cause or effect is not clear yet because the dysfunction of salivary glands induces alterations in oral and intestinal microbiome which is linked to worsen of symptoms and disease severity. If the human microbiome proves to play a key role in pathogenesis and manifestation of SS, the next step could be new and promising therapeutic approaches such as probiotics or prebiotics. This mini review focuses on the alterations of microbiome of SS patients, their connection with immune tolerance and new therapeutic strategies involving diet manipulation toward future personalized medicine.
Project description:In Sjögren's Syndrome (SS), inherent glandular defects, autoimmunity, and mononuclear cell infiltration within the salivary glands cause reduced salivation leading to xerostomia. Excessive production of type I interferons (IFN), triggered by environmental and genetic factors, is considered pathogenic in this disorder. However, whether type I IFN production is causative or an outcome of the disease process is not known. To address this question, we introduced a deficiency of interferon alpha receptor 1 (Ifnar1) into B6.Aec1Aec2 mice, which are known to have the genetic loci necessary for developing a SS-like disorder. This new mouse strain, B6.Aec1Aec2Ifnar1 (-/-), lacking type I IFN-mediated signaling, was characterized for pilocarpine-induced salivation, the presence of serum autoantibodies, sialoadenitis, and dacryoadenitis. Compared with the B6.Aec1Aec2Ifnar1 (+/+) (wild-type) mice, the B6.Aec1Aec2Ifnar1 (-/-) (knockout) mice had significantly lower mononuclear cell infiltration in the salivary and lacrimal glands. The knockout mice were completely protected from salivary gland dysfunction. Surprisingly, they had a robust autoantibody response comparable with that of the wild-type mice. These findings demonstrate that, in the absence of type I IFN-mediated signaling, systemic autoantibody responses can be dissociated from glandular pathology. Our study suggests that, in genetically susceptible individuals, the type I IFN pathway can instigate certain features of SS.
Project description:Xerostomia is a chief complaint of patients with Sjögren's syndrome (SS). However, newer proposals for SS classification remove xerostomia and hyposalivation from the criteria list. Given these developments and the importance of patient-centered research outcomes, we sought to evaluate the utility of patient-reported xerostomia with implications for classification criteria, and clinical trials targeting SS treatment modalities.A nested case-control study was designed within The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research/National Institutes of Health (NIDCR/NIH) SS Cohort - one of the largest SS cohorts in the US. Clinical characteristics of those with and without xerostomia in SS and other salivary gland dysfunctions were compared. Several analytical methods were employed, including multivariable logistic regression modeling.The NIDCR/NIH Sjögren's Syndrome Clinic has an open cohort with ongoing enrollment since 1984. This open cohort comprised of 2046 participants by August 27, 2015. Baseline data of 701 SS, 355 Sicca, and 247 ISS participants within the source cohort were analyzed. Xerostomia was highest among SS participants (87.4%, 95% CI: 84.8%-89.8%) compared to Sicca (72.4%, 95% CI: 67.4%-77.0%, p<0.001) and ISS groups (38.1%, 95% CI: 32.0%-44.4%, p<0.001). Those with xerostomia were more likely to have SS than Sicca/ISS (OR=4.98, 95% CI: 3.78-6.56). The ability of xerostomia to screen for SS among those with salivary gland dysfunction was higher than screening for Sicca/ISS. Screening diagnostics of xerostomia were of greater utility compared to hyposalivation. After adjusting for confounding in multivariable modeling, SS participants with xerostomia were more likely to be White (Black/African Americans (OR: 0.40, 95% CI: 0.23-0.68, p-value=0.001) and Asians (OR: 0.49, 95% CI: 0.25-0.96, p-value=0.038) were less likely to have xerostomia compared to Whites), have dry eye symptoms for >3months (OR: 5.80, 95% CI: 3.62-9.28, p-value <0.001), a lower Van Bijsterveld score (OR: 0.55, 95%CI: 0.34-0.90, p-value=0.017), a lower stimulated salivary flow rate (OR: 1.67, 95% CI: 1.06-2.65, p-value=0.028), a focus score of >2 (OR: 1.92, 95% CI: 1.20-3.09, p-value=0.007), and salivary gland swelling (OR: 49.39, 95% CI: 2.02-1206.30, p-value=0.017). Age, gender, fatigue, pain, anxiety, and autoantibodies were not significantly associated with xerostomia.Findings from this study indicate that patient-reported xerostomia is highly prevalent among SS patients and is associated with several clinical phenotypes of this complex syndrome, thereby making it an important indicator of SS. The evidence also suggests that xerostomia is not limited to low salivary flow but might be reflective of compositional changes of saliva. Consequently, these findings suggest the need to consider xerostomia in the development of SS classification criteria and in patient-centered outcomes research in SS intervention trials. This research was supported by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) Grant # DE000704-15. Dr. Baer is supported by RO1-DE-12354-15A1.
Project description:Sjögren's Syndrome (SS) is a human autoimmune disease characterized by immune-mediated destruction of the lacrimal and salivary glands. In this study, we show that the Aire-deficient mouse represents a new tool to investigate autoimmune dacryoadenitis and keratoconjunctivitis sicca, features of SS. Previous work in the Aire-deficient mouse suggested a role for alpha-fodrin, a ubiquitous Ag, in the disease process. Using an unbiased biochemical approach, however, we have identified a novel lacrimal gland autoantigen, odorant binding protein 1a, targeted by the autoimmune response. This novel autoantigen is expressed in the thymus in an Aire-dependent manner. The results from our study suggest that defects in central tolerance may contribute to SS and provide a new and clinically relevant model to investigate the pathogenic mechanisms in lacrimal gland autoimmunity and associated ocular surface sequelae.
Project description:Sjögren's syndrome (SS) is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disorder that causes secretory dysfunction of the salivary glands leading to dry mouth. Previous studies reported that tight junction (TJ) proteins are down-regulated and lose polarity in human minor salivary glands with SS, suggesting that TJ structure is compromised in SS patients. In this paper, we utilized the NOD/ShiLtJ mouse with the main goal of evaluating this model for future TJ research. We found that the organization of apical proteins in areas proximal and distal to lymphocytic infiltration remained intact in mouse and human salivary glands with SS. These areas looked comparable to control glands (i.e., with no lymphocytic infiltration). TJ staining was absent in areas of lymphocytic infiltration coinciding with the loss of salivary epithelium. Gene expression studies show that most TJs are not significantly altered in 20-week-old NOD/ShiLtJ mice as compared with age-matched C57BL/6 controls. Protein expression studies revealed that the TJ proteins, zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1), occludin, claudin-12, as well as E-cadherin, do not significantly change in NOD/ShiLtJ mice. Our results suggest that ZO-1, occludin and E-cadherin are not altered in areas without lymphocytic infiltration. However, future studies will be necessary to test the functional aspect of these results.