BACKGROUND: Although Fas on pancreatic islets promotes autoimmune diabetes in mice, the role of Fas expression on kidney parenchymal cells during autoimmune disease is unknown. METHODS: To determine whether Fas on renal parenchymal cells promotes autoimmune renal destruction, we compared apoptosis and pathology in Fas-intact and Fas-deficient kidneys in an autoimmune milieu. For this purpose, we transplanted single, normal kidneys from MRL-++ (Fas-intact) mice (3 months of age) into age-matched, congenic MRL-Faslpr (Fas-deficient) recipients after removal of nephritic kidneys. These Fas-intact kidneys were compared with Fas-deficient nephritic kidneys. RESULTS: There is a progressive increase of FasL on kidney-infiltrating cells and Fas and FasL on renal parenchymal cells in MRL-++ kidneys during engraftment (0, 2, 4-6, and 8 weeks). By comparison, we detected an increase in FasL in MRL-Faslpr kidneys (3 to 5 months of age), whereas Fas was not detectable. The engagement of T cells bearing FasL with Fas expressing tubular epithelial cells (TECs) induced TEC apoptosis in vitro. However, apoptosis and pathology were similar in kidneys (MRL-++, 8 weeks postengraftment vs. MRL-Faslpr, 5 months) with equivalent amounts of FasL-infiltrating cells or FasL TECs, regardless of Fas on renal parenchymal cells. CONCLUSION: The expression of Fas on renal parenchymal cells does not increase apoptosis or promote renal disease in MRL-++ mice. We speculate that the autoimmune milieu evokes mechanisms that mask, counter, or pre-empt Fas-FasL-initiated apoptosis in MRL kidneys. (+info)
(2/6282) Identification of a subpopulation of lymphocytes in human peripheral blood cytotoxic to autologous fibroblasts.
A naturally occurring subpopulation of human peripheral blood lymphocytes is cytotoxic to autologous and/or allogeneic fibroblasts. The autocytotoxic lymphocytes have a receptor for the third component of complement and for aggregated gamma globulin, do not form rosettes with sheep red blood cells, and are not removed by passage through nylon. The autocytotoxic subpopulation is not present in the thymus and tonsils of normal children or in the peripheral blood of individuals with X-linked agammaglobulinemia. Fibroblast absorption experiments demonstrate that the autocytotoxic cells are "sensitized" to antigens expressed on allogeneic fibroblasts in addition to the antigens expressed on autologous cells. Some normal individuals have a second subpopulation of lymphocytes that may "regulate" the autocytotoxic cells. The relevance of these observations to the murine autocytotoxic cells is discussed. (+info)
(3/6282) Chlamydia infections and heart disease linked through antigenic mimicry.
Chlamydia infections are epidemiologically linked to human heart disease. A peptide from the murine heart muscle-specific alpha myosin heavy chain that has sequence homology to the 60-kilodalton cysteine-rich outer membrane proteins of Chlamydia pneumoniae, C. psittaci, and C. trachomatis was shown to induce autoimmune inflammatory heart disease in mice. Injection of the homologous Chlamydia peptides into mice also induced perivascular inflammation, fibrotic changes, and blood vessel occlusion in the heart, as well as triggering T and B cell reactivity to the homologous endogenous heart muscle-specific peptide. Chlamydia DNA functioned as an adjuvant in the triggering of peptide-induced inflammatory heart disease. Infection with C. trachomatis led to the production of autoantibodies to heart muscle-specific epitopes. Thus, Chlamydia-mediated heart disease is induced by antigenic mimicry of a heart muscle-specific protein. (+info)
(4/6282) Crossreactive recognition of viral, self, and bacterial peptide ligands by human class I-restricted cytotoxic T lymphocyte clonotypes: implications for molecular mimicry in autoimmune disease.
The immunodominant, CD8(+) cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response to the HLA-B8-restricted peptide, RAKFKQLL, located in the Epstein-Barr virus immediate-early antigen, BZLF1, is characterized by a diverse T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire. Here, we show that this diversity can be partitioned on the basis of crossreactive cytotoxicity patterns involving the recognition of a self peptide-RSKFRQIV-located in a serine/threonine kinase and a bacterial peptide-RRKYKQII-located in Staphylococcus aureus replication initiation protein. Thus CTL clones that recognized the viral, self, and bacterial peptides expressed a highly restricted alphabeta TCR phenotype. The CTL clones that recognized viral and self peptides were more oligoclonal, whereas clones that strictly recognized the viral peptide displayed a diverse TCR profile. Interestingly, the self and bacterial peptides equally were substantially less effective than the cognate viral peptide in sensitizing target cell lysis, and also resulted only in a weak reactivation of memory CTLs in limiting dilution assays, whereas the cognate peptide was highly immunogenic. The described crossreactions show that human antiviral, CD8(+) CTL responses can be shaped by peptide ligands derived from autoantigens and environmental bacterial antigens, thereby providing a firm structural basis for molecular mimicry involving class I-restricted CTLs in the pathogenesis of autoimmune disease. (+info)
(5/6282) MHC class II gene associations with autoantibodies to U1A and SmD1 proteins.
Autoantibodies against U small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNP) are frequently present in the serum of patients with systemic rheumatic diseases, and have been reported to be associated with HLA-DR and -DQ genes. To better define the role of HLA genes in the production of such antibodies, we studied immunogenetic associations with autoantibodies reacting with U1 RNP, U1A and SmD1 proteins, and synthetic peptides containing immunodominant linear epitopes of these proteins. Only two out of the 15 overlapping peptides of U1A (i.e. peptides 35-58 and 257-282) and three of 11 peptides of SmD1 (i.e. peptides 1-20, 44-67 and 97-119) were significantly recognized by patients' sera selected on the basis of their antibody positivity with RNP in immunodiffusion. The distribution of DRB1, DQB1 and DPB1 alleles among the anti-RNP antibody-positive patients (n = 28) and healthy control subjects was similar. Antibodies against U1A (tested in Western immunoblotting with HeLa cell extracts) were positively associated to DRB1*06 allele; antibodies reacting with SmD1 peptide 44-67 were negatively associated to DRB1*02 and DQB1*0602 alleles. No association was found between DPB1 alleles and antibodies reacting with U1A and SmD1 antigens. This first study reporting an association between autoantibodies reacting with U1A and SmD1 proteins (and peptides of these proteins), and immunogenetic markers suggest that the production of antibody subsets directed against different components (or regions of these proteins) bound to the same snRNP particle is associated with distinct MHC class II alleles. (+info)
(6/6282) Non-coding plasmid DNA induces IFN-gamma in vivo and suppresses autoimmune encephalomyelitis.
Regulatory sequences used in plasmids for naked DNA vaccination can modulate cytokine production in vivo. We demonstrate here that injection of plasmid DNA can suppress the prototypic T cell-mediated autoimmune disease, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, by inducing IFN-gamma. (+info)
(7/6282) IL-4 and IL-10 are both required for the induction of oral tolerance.
Protection from the development of experimental autoimmune uveitis (EAU) can be induced by feeding mice interphotoreceptor retinoid binding protein before uveitogenic challenge with the same protein. Two different regimens are equally effective in inducing protective tolerance, although they seem to do so through different mechanisms: one involving regulatory cytokines (IL-4, IL-10, and TGF-beta), and the other with minimal involvement of cytokines. Here we studied the importance of IL-4 and IL-10 for the development of oral tolerance using mice genetically engineered to lack either one or both of these cytokines. In these animals we were able to protect against EAU only through the regimen inducing cytokine-independent tolerance. When these animals were fed a regimen that in the wild-type animal is thought to predominantly induce regulatory cells and is associated with cytokine secretion, they were not protected from EAU. Interestingly, both regimens were associated with reduced IL-2 production and proliferation in response to interphotoreceptor retinoid binding protein. These findings indicate that both IL-4 and IL-10 are required for induction of protective oral tolerance dependent on regulatory cytokines, and that one cytokine cannot substitute for the other in this process. These data also underscore the fact that oral tolerance, manifested as suppression of proliferation and IL-2 production, is not synonymous with protection from disease. (+info)
(8/6282) Pregnancy ameliorates induction and expression of experimental autoimmune uveitis.
Female patients suffering from autoimmune uveitis are reported to experience a temporary remission during pregnancy. Experimental autoimmune uveitis (EAU) is a model for human uveitis. Here we examine the effect of pregnancy on the development of EAU and its associated immunological responses. Susceptible C57BL/6 mice were immunized with interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein (IRBP). EAU scores and Ag-specific responses were evaluated 21 days later. Mice immunized during pregnancy developed significantly less EAU than nonpregnant controls. Their lymph node cells and splenocytes produced a distinct pattern of cytokines in response to IRBP: reduced IFN-gamma and IL-12 p40, but unchanged levels of TNF-alpha, IL-4, IL-5, and IL-10. Anti-IRBP Ab isotypes revealed an up-regulation of IgG1, indicating a possible Th2 bias at the humoral level. Ag-specific proliferation and delayed hypersensitivity, as well as mitogen-induced IFN-gamma production, remained undiminished, arguing against an overall immune deficit. Interestingly, pregnant mice that received an infusion of IRBP-primed lymphoid cells from nonpregnant donors also developed reduced EAU, suggesting that pregnancy suppresses not only the generation, but also the function of mature uveitogenic effector T cells. Pregnant mice at the time of immunization exhibited elevated levels of TGF-beta, but not of IL-10, in the serum. We suggest that protection from EAU during pregnancy is due primarily to a selective reduction of Ag-specific Th1 responses with only marginal enhancement of Th2 function, and that these effects may in part be secondary to elevated systemic levels of TGF-beta. (+info)