Analysis of expression and function of the co-stimulatory receptor SLAMF1 in immune cells from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

PMID 25920347


The signaling lymphocytic activation molecule SLAMF1 (CD150) is a co-stimulatory molecule that is expressed by most immune cells, including T regulatory (Treg) lymphocytes. Since different abnormalities have been reported regarding the number and function of Foxp3+ Treg cells in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), we decided to analyze the expression and function of CD150 in these regulatory lymphocytes in this condition. We isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 20 patients with SLE, and 20 healthy controls. The expression of SLAMF1 was determined by multi-parametric flow cytometry and the suppressive function of CD4+CD25+ lymphocytes, upon engagement or not of CD150 with an agonistic monoclonal antibody, was analyzed by an assay of inhibition of cell proliferation. We observed a significantly increased expression of SLAMF1 by CD3+CD4+ helper T cells and CD19+ B cells in patients with SLE and active disease. However, similar levels of SLAMF1 expression were detected in Foxp3+ Treg cells from patients and controls. In contrast, a higher proportion of SLE patients increased their suppressive function of Treg cells upon CD150 engagement compared to healthy controls. Our data suggest that SLAMF1 is another significant piece in the intricate defective immune-regulatory function of patients with SLE.