The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology

IL-10/Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 signaling dysregulates Bim expression in autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome.

PMID 25174872


Autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS) is a human disorder of T cell homeostasis caused by mutations that impair FAS-mediated apoptosis. A defining characteristic of ALPS is the expansion of double negative T cells (DNTC). Relatively little is known about how defective FAS-driven cell death and the Bcl-2 apoptotic pathway intersect in ALPS patients. We studied changes in Bcl-2 family member expression in ALPS to determine whether the Bcl-2 pathway might provide a therapeutic target. We used flow cytometry to analyze the expression of pro- and anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family members in T cells from 12 ALPS patients and determined the in vitro sensitivity of ALPS DNTC to the pro-apoptotic BH3 mimetic, ABT-737. The pro-apoptotic molecule, Bim, was significantly elevated in DNTC. Although no general pattern of individual anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family members emerged, increased expression of Bim was always accompanied by increased expression of at least 1 anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family member. Strikingly, Bim levels in DNTC correlated significantly with serum IL-10 in ALPS patients, and IL-10 was sufficient to mildly induce Bim in normal and ALPS T cells via a Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription 3-dependent mechanism. Finally, ABT-737 preferentially killed ALPS DNTC in vitro. Combined, these data show that an IL-10/Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 pathway drives Bim expression in ALPS DNTC, which renders them sensitive to BH3 mimetics, uncovering a potentially novel therapeutic approach to ALPS.