Arthritis research & therapy

Altered phenotype and Stat1 expression in Toll-like receptor 7/8 stimulated monocyte-derived dendritic cells from patients with primary Sjögren's syndrome.

PMID 25113744


Dendritic cells (DC) are the most potent antigen-presenting cells of the immune system, involved in both initiating immune responses and maintaining tolerance. Dysfunctional and via toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands activated DC have been implicated in the development of autoimmune diseases, but their role in the etiology of Sjögren's syndrome, a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease characterized by progressive mononuclear cell infiltration in the exocrine glands, has not been revealed yet. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate phenotype and functional properties of immature and TLR7/8 stimulated monocyte-derived DC (moDC) of patients with primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS) and compare them to healthy controls. The phenotype, apoptosis susceptibility and endocytic capacity of moDC were analyzed by flow cytometry. Secretion of cytokines was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and multiplex Luminex analyses in moDC cell culture supernatants. The expression of TLR7 was analyzed by flow cytometry and real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Expression of Ro/Sjögren's syndrome-associated autoantigen A (Ro52/SSA), interferon regulatory factor 8 (IRF-8), Bim, signal transduction and activators of transcription (Stat) 1, p-Stat1 (Tyrosin 701), p-Stat1 (Serin 727), Stat3, pStat3 (Tyrosin 705) and glyceraldehyde 3-phosphatase dehydrogenase (GAPDH) was measured by Western blotting. Nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) family members were quantified using the ELISA-based TransAM NF-κB family kit. We could not detect differences in expression of co-stimulatory molecules and maturation markers such as cluster of differentiation (CD) 86, CD80, CD40 or CD83 on moDC from patients compared to healthy controls. Moreover, we could not observe variations in apoptosis susceptibility, Bim and Ro52/SSA expression and the endocytic capacity of the moDC. However, we found that moDC from pSS patients expressed increased levels of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecule human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DR. We also found significant differences in cytokine production by moDC, where increased interleukin (IL)-12p40 secretion in mature pSS moDC correlated with increased RelB expression. Strikingly, moDC from pSS patients matured for 48 hours with TLR7/8 ligand CL097 expressed significantly less Stat1. Our results suggest a role for moDC in the pathogenesis of Sjögren's syndrome.