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Strain-Specific Manifestation of Lupus-like Systemic Autoimmunity Caused by Zap70 Mutation.

Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950) (2019-04-26)
Takashi Matsuo, Motomu Hashimoto, Shimon Sakaguchi, Noriko Sakaguchi, Yoshinaga Ito, Masaki Hikida, Tatsuaki Tsuruyama, Kaoru Sakai, Hideki Yokoi, Mirei Shirakashi, Masao Tanaka, Hiromu Ito, Hajime Yoshifuji, Koichiro Ohmura, Takao Fujii, Tsuneyo Mimori
ABSTRACT

A defect in TCR-proximal signaling is a major characteristic of CD4 T cells in systemic lupus erythematosus; however, it is not fully known how defects in TCR signaling lead to lupus-like systemic autoimmunity characterized by germinal center development and autoantibody production against nuclear Ags. In this study, we show that SKG mice, which develop autoimmune arthritis in a BALB/c background due to defective TCR signaling by a Zap70 mutation, develop lupus-like systemic autoimmune disease in the C57BL/6 (B6) background (B6SKG mice). B6SKG mice showed multiorgan inflammation with immune complex deposition and anti-dsDNA Ab production. Follicular helper T cells (Tfh), which help germinal center formation, were spontaneously expanded in B6SKG mice. Th cells secreting IFN-γ or IL-17 and regulatory T cells were also increased in B6SKG mice compared with wild-type B6 mice, with the regulatory T cell subpopulation losing the expression of CD25. Among the factors related to Tfh differentiation, the number of dendritic cells and the expression levels of the costimulatory molecules CD80, CD86, and ICOSL in dendritic cells but not in B cells were specifically increased in wild-type B6 mice compared with BALB/c mice. The inhibition of these costimulatory molecules suppressed Tfh development and lupus-like autoimmunity. Thus, a defect in TCR-proximal signaling leads to lupus-like systemic autoimmunity under the specific genetic background that facilitates Tfh development.

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