Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)

Siglec-G Deficiency Leads to Autoimmunity in Aging C57BL/6 Mice.

PMID 25987743


Siglec-G, a member of the sialic acid-binding Ig-like lectin (Siglec) family, is expressed on B cell and dendritic cell surfaces. It acts as an inhibitory coreceptor and modulates B cell activation, especially on B1 cells, as Siglec-G-deficient mice show mainly a B1 cell-restricted phenotype resulting in increased B1 cell numbers. Although higher B1 cell numbers are discussed to be associated with autoimmunity, loss of Siglec-G does not result in autoimmune disease in BALB/c mice. However, there is evidence from Siglec-G × CD22 double-deficient mice and Siglec-G(-/-) mice on an autoimmune-prone MRL/lpr background that Siglec-G is important to maintain tolerance in B cells. In this study, we analyzed the role of Siglec-G in induction and maintenance of B cell tolerance on C57BL/6 background and in the FcγRIIb-deficient background. We find that aging Siglec-G-deficient and Siglec-G × FcγRIIb double-deficient mice develop an autoimmune phenotype with elevated autoantibody levels and mild glomerulonephritis. Aging Siglec-G-deficient mice have elevated numbers of plasma cells and germinal center B cells, as well as a higher number of activated CD4 T cells, which likely all contribute to autoantibody production. Additional loss of the inhibitory receptor FcγRIIb in Siglec-G(-/-) mice does not result in exacerbation of disease. These results indicate that Siglec-G is important to maintain tolerance in B cells and prevent autoimmunity.