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1.  Role of Activating FcγR Gene Polymorphisms in Kawasaki Disease Susceptibility and Intravenous Immunoglobulin Response 
A functional polymorphism in the inhibitory IgG-Fc receptor FcγRIIB influences intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) response in Kawasaki Disease (KD) a vasculitis preferentially affecting the coronary arteries in children. We tested the hypothesis that the polymorphisms in the activating receptors (Fcγ RIIA, Fcγ RIIIA and Fcγ RIIIB) also influence susceptibility, IVIG treatment response, and coronary artery disease (CAD) in KD patients.
Methods and Results
We genotyped polymorphisms in the activating FcγRIIA, FcγRIIIA and FcγRIIIB genes using pyrosequencing in 443 KD patients, including 266 trios and 150 single parent-child pairs, in northwest US and genetically determined race with 155 ancestry information markers. We used the FBAT program to test for transmission disequilibrium and further generated pseudo-sibling controls for comparisons to the cases. The FcγRIIA-131H variant showed an association with KD (p = 0.001) with ORadditive = 1.51 [1.16–1.96], p = 0.002) for the primary combined population, which persisted in both Caucasian (p = .04) and Asian (p = .01) subgroups and is consistent with the recent genome-wide association study. We also identified over-transmission of FcγRIIIB-NA1 among IVIG non-responders (p = 0.0002), and specifically to Caucasian IVIG non-responders (p = 0.007). Odds ratios for overall and Caucasian non-responders were respectively 3.67 [1.75–7.66], p = 0.0006 and 3.60 [1.34–9.70], p = 0.01. Excess NA1 transmission also occurred to KD with CAD (ORadditive = 2.13 [1.11–4.0], p = 0.02).
A common variation in FcγRIIA is associated with increased KD susceptibility. The FcγRIIIB-NA1, which confers higher affinity for IgG compared to NA2, is a determining factor for treatment response. These activating FcγRs play an important role in KD pathogenesis and mechanism of IVIG anti-inflammatory.
PMCID: PMC3444514  PMID: 22565545
coronary disease; pediatrics; Kawasaki disease; IVIG treatment response; FcγR
2.  DC-SIGN gene promoter variants and IVIG treatment response in Kawasaki disease 
Genetic variants in the inhibiting FcγRIIB mediate anti-inflammatory responses and influence IVIG refractoriness (IVIG-R). However, these variants are rare in Asian and Hispanic populations so other genes in the pathway could be potentially involved. IVIG is ineffective in mice lacking SIGN-R1, a related molecule to human DC-SIGN. Further, DC-SIGN is a known receptor for sialylated Fc, the component responsible for the anti-inflammatory action of IVIG. Thus, we hypothesized that DC-SIGN would also be involved in the pathway of IVIG response in Kawasaki Disease (KD) patients.
A case-control approach was performed to examine the differential distribution of five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in DC-SIGN promoter with IVIG-R among White (158 vs. 62), Asian (64 vs. 12) and Hispanic (55 vs. 20) KD patients. Distinct differences in allele frequency distributions of several variants in the DC-SIGN promoter were observed in the three ethnic groups. Further, Asians with the major allele “A” in rs2287886 were more likely (OR = 1.76, p = 0.04) to be IVIG non-responder, but this allele is a minor allele in other two ethnic groups, where the association was not apparent.
DC-SIGN can potentially complement the role of FcγRIIB in the anti-inflammatory cascade involved in the IVIG response mechanism.
PMCID: PMC3847673  PMID: 24006904
Kawasaki disease; IVIG treatment response; FcγR; Coronary artery disease; DC-SIGN
3.  Passively Administered Pooled Human Immunoglobulins Exert IL-10 Dependent Anti-Inflammatory Effects that Protect against Fatal HSV Encephalitis 
PLoS Pathogens  2011;7(6):e1002071.
HSV-1 is the leading cause of sporadic encephalitis in humans. HSV infection of susceptible 129S6 mice results in fatal encephalitis (HSE) caused by massive inflammatory brainstem lesions comprising monocytes and neutrophils. During infection with pathogenic microorganisms or autoimmune disease, IgGs induce proinflammatory responses and recruit innate effector cells. In contrast, high dose intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIG) are an effective treatment for various autoimmune and inflammatory diseases because of potent anti-inflammatory effects stemming in part from sialylated IgGs (sIgG) present at 1–3% in IVIG. We investigated the ability of IVIG to prevent fatal HSE when given 24 h post infection. We discovered a novel anti-inflammatory pathway mediated by low-dose IVIG that protected 129S6 mice from fatal HSE by modulating CNS inflammation independently of HSV specific antibodies or sIgG. IVIG suppressed CNS infiltration by pathogenic CD11b+ Ly6Chigh monocytes and inhibited their spontaneous degranulation in vitro. FcγRIIb expression was required for IVIG mediated suppression of CNS infiltration by CD45+ Ly6Clow monocytes but not for inhibiting development of Ly6Chigh monocytes. IVIG increased accumulation of T cells in the CNS, and the non-sIgG fraction induced a dramatic expansion of FoxP3+ CD4+ T regulatory cells (Tregs) and FoxP3− ICOS+ CD4+ T cells in peripheral lymphoid organs. Tregs purified from HSV infected IVIG treated, but not control, mice protected adoptively transferred mice from fatal HSE. IL-10, produced by the ICOS+ CD4+ T cells that accumulated in the CNS of IVIG treated, but not control mice, was essential for induction of protective anti-inflammatory responses. Our results significantly enhance understanding of IVIG's anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory capabilities by revealing a novel sIgG independent anti-inflammatory pathway responsible for induction of regulatory T cells that secrete the immunosuppressive cytokine IL-10 and further reveal the therapeutic potential of IVIG for treating viral induced inflammatory diseases.
Author Summary
We show that fatal HSV encephalitis (HSE) is caused by excessive brainstem inflammation. Once brainstem inflammation is initiated, antiviral drugs that inhibit only viral replication are ineffective in protecting against fatal HSE. Infusion of high doses of pooled human IgG (IVIG) is an effective anti-inflammatory treatment for various autoimmune diseases. One anti-inflammatory mechanism depends on sialylated IgGs (sIgG) present in limiting amounts (1–3%) in IVIG, hence the need for high doses of IVIG. We discovered a novel anti-inflammatory pathway mediated by low doses of IVIG independent of sIgG that prevented fatal HSE by suppressing CNS inflammation. The non-sIgG fraction of IVIG induced regulatory CD4+ T cells that produced the immunosuppressive cytokine IL-10 in the brainstem. Importantly, we show that IL-10 is critical for suppressing the generation of pathogenic inflammatory macrophages. Thus, IVIG has a remarkable ability to balance the host inflammatory responses to virus infection and thereby promotes virus clearance without bystander damage to the CNS, accounting for survival of all infected mice. Overall, our results provide important new insights in understanding IVIG's anti-inflammatory activity and further reveal its potential for use in treatment of viral inflammatory diseases.
PMCID: PMC3107211  PMID: 21655109
4.  Intravenous immunoglobulins modulate neutrophil activation and vascular injury through FcγRIII and SHP-1 
Circulation Research  2012;110(8):1057-1066.
Intravascular neutrophil recruitment and activation are a key pathogenic factor that contributes to vascular injury. Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) has been shown to have a beneficial effect in systemic inflammatory disorders; however, the mechanisms underlying IVIG’s inhibitory effect on neutrophil recruitment and activation are not understood.
We studied the mechanisms by which IVIG exerts protection from neutrophil-mediated acute vascular injury.
Methods and Results
We examined neutrophil behavior in response to IVIG in vivo using real time intravital microscopy. We found that an antibody that blocks both FcγRIII and its inhibitory receptor counterpart, FcγRIIB, abrogated the inhibitory effect of IVIG on leukocyte recruitment and heterotypic RBC interactions with adherent leukocytes in wild-type mice. In the context of sickle cell disease, the blockade of both FcγRIIB and III abrogated the protective effect of IVIG on acute vaso-occlusive crisis caused by neutrophil recruitment and activation. Analysis of FcγRIIB- and FcγRIII-deficient mice revealed the predominant expression of FcγRIII on circulating neutrophils. FcγRIII mediated IVIG-triggered inhibition of leukocyte recruitment, circulating RBC capture, and enhanced Mac-1 activity, whereas FcγRIIB was dispensable. In addition, FcγRIII-induced IVIG anti-inflammatory activity in neutrophils was mediated by recruitment of Src homology 2 (SH2)-containing tyrosine phosphatase-1 (SHP-1). Indeed, the protective effect of IVIG on leukocyte recruitment and activation was abrogated in SHP-1-mutant mice.
FcγRIII, a classical activating receptor, has an unexpected inhibitory role on neutrophil adhesion and activation via recruitment of SHP-1 in response to IVIG. Our results identify SHP-1 as a therapeutic target in neutrophil-mediated vascular injury.
PMCID: PMC3351009  PMID: 22415018
neutrophils; vascular injury; FcγRIII; IVIG; SHP-1
5.  Differences in Anti-Inflammatory Actions of Intravenous Immunoglobulin between Mice and Men: More than Meets the Eye 
Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) is a therapeutic preparation of polyspecific human IgGs purified from plasma pooled from thousands of individuals. When administered at a high dose, IVIg inhibits inflammation and has proven efficacy in the treatment of various autoimmune and systemic inflammatory diseases. Importantly, IVIg therapy can ameliorate both auto-antibody-mediated and T-cell mediated immune pathologies. In the last few decades, extensive research in murine disease models has resulted in the elucidation of two novel anti-inflammatory mechanisms-of-action of IVIg: induction of FcγRIIB expression by sialylated Fc, and stimulation of regulatory T cells. Whereas controversial findings in mice studies have recently inspired intense scientific debate regarding the validity of the sialylated Fc-FcγRIIB model, the most fundamental question is whether these anti-inflammatory mechanisms of IVIg are operational in humans treated with IVIg. In this review, we examine the evidence for the involvement of these anti-inflammatory mechanisms in the therapeutic effects of IVIg in humans. We demonstrate that although several elements of both immune-modulatory pathways of IVIg are activated in humans, incorrect extrapolations from mice to men have been made on the molecular and cellular components involved in these cascades that warrant for critical re-evaluation of these anti-inflammatory mechanisms of IVIg in humans.
PMCID: PMC4412134  PMID: 25972869
IVIg; anti-inflammatory; autoimmunity; sialylation; regulatory T cells; Fcγ receptors
6.  Immunomodulation by IVIg and the Role of Fc-Gamma Receptors: Classic Mechanisms of Action after all? 
Intravenous IgG (IVIg) contains polyclonal immunoglobulin G (IgG) from thousands of donors. It is administered at a low dose at regular intervals as antibody replacement therapy and at a higher dose as immunomodulatory treatment in various auto-immune or auto-inflammatory diseases. The working mechanism of immunomodulation is not well understood. Many different explanations have been given. During the last decade, we have focused on classical antibody binding via the Fc-domain of the IgG molecules to the common IgG receptors, i.e. the Fcγ receptors (FcγRs). Variation in the genes encoding human FcγRs determines function as well as expression among immune cells. As described here, NK cells and myeloid cells, including macrophages, can express different FcγR variants, depending on the individual’s genotype, copy number variation (CNV), and promoter polymorphisms. B-cells seem to only express the single inhibitory receptor. Although these inhibitory FcγRIIb receptors are also expressed by monocytes, macrophages, and only rarely by NK cells or neutrophils, their presence is unlikely to explain the immunomodulatory capacity of IVIg, nor does the sialylation of IgG. Direct IVIg effects at the level of the activating FcγRs, including the more recently described FcγRIIc, deserve renewed attention to describe IVIg-related immunomodulation.
PMCID: PMC4301001  PMID: 25653650
IgG; Fc gamma receptors; immunomodulation; IVIg; mechanisms of action
7.  FcγR gene copy number in Kawasaki disease and intravenous immunoglobulin treatment response 
Pharmacogenetics and genomics  2013;23(9):455-462.
Kawasaki disease (KD), response to intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) therapy, and associated coronary artery disease progression have been associated with genetic polymorphisms in Fc gamma receptor (FcγR) genes. However, it is not known whether the existing gene copy number (GCN) variability relates to KD treatment response, susceptibility, or associated sequelae.
The copy number of individuals with KD (n = 510) and their family members (n = 808) for three variable FcγRs was assessed using pyrosequencing. We performed the transmission disequilibrium test to examine the association of GCN for FcγRs (FcγR2C, FcγR3A, and FcγR3B) with susceptibility and used logistic regression models to determine its association with IVIG treatment outcomes.
FcγR2C and FcγR3B GCN were significantly associated with KD susceptibility. IVIG response was associated with GCN variations of FcγR3B in Whites and FcγR2C in Hispanics, and gene risk score based on single nucleotide polymorphism and GCN in FcγRs were significantly different between IVIG responders and nonresponders among Whites. We found no significant associations between coronary artery disease and any of the FcγR copy numbers.
GCN of FcγR2C and FcγR3B influences IVIG treatment response and predisposes individuals to KD, providing potential insights into understanding the mechanism of the FcγR gene family in the IVIG pathway.
PMCID: PMC4400828  PMID: 23778324
copy number variation; FcγR; genetic risk; intravenous immunoglobulin; Kawasaki disease
8.  The immunomodulatory effects of intravenous immunoglobulin therapy in Kawasaki disease 
The introduction of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) for modulation of inflammation in acute Kawasaki disease (KD) was a great therapeutic triumph. However, three decades later, the mechanisms underlying immune regulation by IVIG are only beginning to be revealed. Stimulation of an immature myeloid population of dendritic cells (DC) that secretes IL-10 and the elucidation of Fc-specific, HLA-restricted natural regulatory T cells (Treg) provide insights into mechanisms of IVIG. Other potential mechanisms include provision of agent-specific neutralizing antibody, anti-idiotype and anti-cytokine antibodies, blockade of activating Fcγ receptors, and stimulation of the inhibitory FcγRIIb receptor. New initiatives must seek to understand the mechanisms of IVIG in order to one day replace it with more affordable and more targeted therapies.
PMCID: PMC4985263  PMID: 26099344
pediatric vasculitis; coronary artery aneurysms; immune regulation; Kawasaki disease; acquired heart disease; myocardial infarction
9.  FcγRIIb Inhibits Allergic Lung Inflammation in a Murine Model of Allergic Asthma 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(2):e9337.
Allergic asthma is characterized by airway eosinophilia, increased mucin production and allergen-specific IgE. Fc gamma receptor IIb (FcγRIIb), an inhibitory IgG receptor, has recently emerged as a negative regulator of allergic diseases like anaphylaxis and allergic rhinitis. However, no studies to date have evaluated its role in allergic asthma. Our main objective was to study the role of FcγRIIb in allergic lung inflammation. We used a murine model of allergic airway inflammation. Inflammation was quantified by BAL inflammatory cells and airway mucin production. FcγRIIb expression was measured by qPCR and flow cytometry and the cytokines were quantified by ELISA. Compared to wild type animals, FcγRIIb deficient mice mount a vigorous allergic lung inflammation characterized by increased bronchoalveolar lavage fluid cellularity, eosinophilia and mucin content upon ragweed extract (RWE) challenge. RWE challenge in sensitized mice upregulated FcγRIIb in the lungs. Disruption of IFN-γ gene abrogated this upregulation. Treatment of naïve mice with the Th1-inducing agent CpG DNA increased FcγRIIb expression in the lungs. Furthermore, treatment of sensitized mice with CpG DNA prior to RWE challenge induced greater upregulation of FcγRIIb than RWE challenge alone. These observations indicated that RWE challenge upregulated FcγRIIb in the lungs by IFN-γ- and Th1-dependent mechanisms. RWE challenge upregulated FcγRIIb on pulmonary CD14+/MHC II+ mononuclear cells and CD11c+ cells. FcγRIIb deficient mice also exhibited an exaggerated RWE-specific IgE response upon sensitization when compared to wild type mice. We propose that FcγRIIb physiologically regulates allergic airway inflammation by two mechanisms: 1) allergen challenge mediates upregulation of FcγRIIb on pulmonary CD14+/MHC II+ mononuclear cells and CD11c+ cells by an IFN-γ dependent mechanism; and 2) by attenuating the allergen specific IgE response during sensitization. Thus, stimulating FcγRIIb may be a therapeutic strategy in allergic airway disorders.
PMCID: PMC2825267  PMID: 20179765
10.  Treatment Response in Kawasaki Disease Is Associated with Sialylation Levels of Endogenous but Not Therapeutic Intravenous Immunoglobulin G 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e81448.
Although intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) is highly effective in Kawasaki disease (KD), mechanisms are not understood and 10-20% of patients are treatment-resistant, manifesting a higher rate of coronary artery aneurysms. Murine models suggest that α2-6-linked sialic acid (α2-6Sia) content of IVIG is critical for suppressing inflammation. However, pro-inflammatory states also up-regulate endogenous levels of β-galactoside:α2-6 sialyltransferase-I (ST6Gal-I), the enzyme that catalyzes addition of α2-6Sias to N-glycans. We asked whether IVIG failures correlated with levels of α2-6Sia on infused IVIG or on the patient’s own endogenous IgG.
We quantified levels of α2-6Sia in infused IVIG and endogenous IgG from 10 IVIG-responsive and 10 resistant KD subjects using multiple approaches. Transcript levels of ST6GAL1, in patient whole blood and B cell lines were evaluated by RT-PCR. Plasma soluble (s)ST6Gal-I levels were measured by ELISA.
There was no consistent difference in median sialylation levels of infused IVIG between groups. However, α2-6Sia levels in endogenous IgG, ST6GAL1 transcript levels, and ST6Gal-I protein in serum from IVIG-resistant KD subjects were lower than in responsive subjects at both pre-treatment and one-year time points (p <0.001, respectively).
Our data indicate sialylation levels of therapeutic IVIG are unrelated to treatment response in KD. Rather, lower sialylation of endogenous IgG and lower blood levels of ST6GALI mRNA and ST6Gal-I enzyme predict therapy resistance. These differences were stable over time, suggesting a genetic basis. Because IVIG-resistance increases risk of coronary artery aneurysms, our findings have important implications for the identification and treatment of such individuals.
PMCID: PMC3855660  PMID: 24324693
11.  Expression Profile of FcγRIIb on Leukocytes and Its Dysregulation in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus1 
FcγRIIb (CD32B, Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man 604590), an IgG FcR with a tyrosine-based inhibitory motif, plays a critical role in the balance of tolerance and autoimmunity in murine models. However, the high degree of homology between FcγRIIb and FcγRIIa in humans and the lack of specific Abs to differentiate them have hampered study of the normal expression profile of FcγRIIb and its potential dysregulation in autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Using our newly developed anti-FcγRIIb mAb 4F5 which does not react with FcγRIIa, we found that FcγRIIb is expressed on the cell surface of circulating B lymphocytes, monocytes, neutrophils, myeloid dendritic cells (DCs), and at very low levels on plasmacytoid DCs from some donors. Normal donors with the less frequent 2B.4 promoter haplotype have higher FcγRIIb expression on monocytes, neutrophils, and myeloid DCs similar to that reported for B lymphocytes, indicating that FcγRIIb expression on both myeloid and lymphoid cells is regulated by the naturally occurring regulatory single nucleotide polymorphisms in the FCGR2B promoter. FcγRIIb expression in normal controls is up-regulated on memory B lymphocytes compared with naive B lymphocytes. In contrast, in active SLE, FcγRIIb is significantly down-regulated on both memory and plasma B lymphocytes compared with naive and memory/plasma B lymphocytes from normals. Similar down-regulation of FcγRIIb on myeloid-lineage cells in SLE was not seen. Our studies demonstrate the constitutive regulation of FcγRIIb by natural gene polymorphisms and the acquired dysregulation in SLE autoimmunity, which may identify opportunities for using this receptor as a therapeutic target.
PMCID: PMC2824439  PMID: 17312177
12.  FcγRIIB in autoimmunity and infection: evolutionary and therapeutic implications 
Nature reviews. Immunology  2010;10(5):328-343.
FcγRIIB is the only inhibitory Fc receptor. It controls many aspects of immune and inflammatory responses, and variation in the gene encoding this protein has long been associated with susceptibility to autoimmune disease, particularly systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). FcγRIIB is also involved in the complex regulation of defence against infection. A loss-of-function polymorphism in FcγRIIB protects against severe malaria, the investigation of which is beginning to clarify the evolutionary pressures that drive ethnic variation in autoimmunity. Our increased understanding of the function of FcγRIIB also has potentially far-reaching therapeutic implications, being involved in the mechanism of action of intravenous immunoglobulin, controlling the efficacy of monoclonal antibody therapy and providing a direct therapeutic target.
PMCID: PMC4148599  PMID: 20414206
13.  Reduced atherosclerosis in apoE-inhibitory FcγRIIb deficient mice is associated with increased anti-inflammatory responses by T cells and macrophages 
Fcgamma receptors (FcγRs) are classified as activating (FcγRI, III, and IV) and inhibitory (FcγRII) receptors. We have reported that deletion of activating FcγRs in apoE−/− mice attenuated atherosclerosis. In this report, we investigated the hypothesis that deficiency of inhibitory FcγRIIb exacerbates atherosclerosis.
Approach and Results
ApoE-FcγRIIb double knockout mice, congenic to the C57BL/6 (apoE-FcγRIIbB6−/−) were generated and atherosclerotic lesions were assessed. Contrary to our hypothesis, when compared to apoE−/− mice, arterial lesions were significantly decreased in apoE-FcγRIIbB6−/− male and female mice fed chow or high-fat diets. Chimeric mice generated by transplanting apoE-FcγRIIbB6−/− marrow into apoE−/− mice also developed reduced lesions. CD4+ T cells from apoE-FcγRIIbB6−/− mice produced higher levels of IL-10 and TGF-β than their apoE−/− counterparts. As our findings conflict with a previous report using apoE-FcγRIIb129/B6−/− mice on a mixed genetic background, we investigated if strain differences contributed to the anti-inflammatory response. Macrophages from FcγRIIb129/B6−/− mice on a mixed genetic background produced more IL-1β and MCP-1 in response to immune complexes, while congenic FcγRIIbB6−/− mice generated more IL-10 and significantly less IL-1β. Interestingly expression of lupus-associated slam genes, located in proximity to fcgr2b in mouse chromosome 1, is upregulated only in mixed FcγRIIb129/B6−/− mice.
Our findings demonstrate a detrimental role for FcγRIIb signaling in atherosclerosis and the contribution of anti-inflammatory cytokine responses in the attenuated lesions observed in apoE-FcγRIIbB6−/− mice. As 129/sv genome derived lupus associated genes have been implicated in lupus phenotype in FcγRIIb129/B6−/− mice our findings suggest possible epistatic mechanism contributing to the decreased lesions.
PMCID: PMC4409543  PMID: 25792447
14.  Is High-Dose Aspirin Necessary in the Acute Phase of Kawasaki Disease? 
Korean Circulation Journal  2013;43(3):182-186.
Background and Objectives
We sought to determine whether high-dose aspirin is necessary for the acute therapy of Kawasaki disease (KD) in the intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) era.
Subjects and Methods
Two groups of KD patients treated during the different periods were included. Study group (n=51, treated with IVIG without concomitant use of aspirin in the acute phase) was compared with control group (n=129, treated with IVIG plus high-dose aspirin) with regard to the response to IVIG, duration of fever after IVIG completion, time to C-reactive protein (CRP) <3 mg/dL, and the incidence of coronary artery lesions (CALs).
There was no difference between the groups in age, sex, and duration of fever before treatment. Pre-IVIG laboratory measures also did not differ from each other. IVIG-resistant cases were 8 (15.7%) in study group and 22 (17.1%) in control group (p=1.000). Mean duration of fever after IVIG completion in IVIG-responsive patients was 13.3±13.5 hours in study group compared to 6.2±8.3 hours in control group (p=0.000). The mean time to decrease in CRP was 4.0±1.7 days in study group and 4.1±2.2 days in control group (p=0.828). There were 2 (3.9%) patients with CALs in study group and 10 (7.8%) in control group (p=0.514).
Although high-dose aspirin shortens the duration of fever, treatment without aspirin in the acute phase has no influence on the response to IVIG, resolution of inflammation, or the development of CALs. In the IVIG era, high-dose aspirin may provide little benefit to the treatment in the acute phase of KD.
PMCID: PMC3629244  PMID: 23613695
Kawasaki disease; Aspirin; Therapeutics
15.  Unique Molecular Patterns Uncovered in Kawasaki Disease Patients with Elevated Serum Gamma Glutamyl Transferase Levels: Implications for Intravenous Immunoglobulin Responsiveness 
PLoS ONE  2016;11(12):e0167434.
Resistance to intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) occurs in 10–20% of patients with Kawasaki disease (KD). The risk of resistance is about two-fold higher in patients with elevated gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT) levels. We sought to understand the biological mechanisms underlying IVIG resistance in patients with elevated GGT levels.
We explored the association between elevated GGT levels and IVIG-resistance with a cohort of 686 KD patients (Cohort I). Gene expression data from 130 children with acute KD (Cohort II) were analyzed using the R square statistic and false discovery analysis to identify genes that were differentially represented in patients with elevated GGT levels with regard to IVIG responsiveness. Two additional KD cohorts (Cohort III and IV) were used to test the hypothesis that sialylation and GGT may be involved in IVIG resistance through neutrophil apoptosis.
Thirty-six genes were identified that significantly explained the variations of both GGT levels and IVIG responsiveness in KD patients. After Bonferroni correction, significant associations with IVIG resistance persisted for 12 out of 36 genes among patients with elevated GGT levels and none among patients with normal GGT levels. With the discovery of ST6GALNAC3, a sialyltransferase, as the most differentially expressed gene, we hypothesized that sialylation and GGT are involved in IVIG resistance through neutrophil apoptosis. We then confirmed that in Cohort III and IV there was significantly less reduction in neutrophil count in IVIG non-responders.
Gene expression analyses combining molecular and clinical datasets support the hypotheses that: (1) neutrophil apoptosis induced by IVIG may be a mechanism of action of IVIG in KD; (2) changes in sialylation and GGT level in KD patients may contribute synergistically to IVIG resistance through blocking IVIG-induced neutrophil apoptosis. These findings have implications for understanding the mechanism of action in IVIG resistance, and possibly for development of novel therapeutics.
PMCID: PMC5176264  PMID: 28002448
16.  FcγRIIB Regulation of BCR/TLR-Dependent Autoreactive B Cell Responses 
European journal of immunology  2010;40(10):2692-2698.
Crosslinking of FcγRIIB and the BCR by immune complexes (ICs) can downregulate antigen-specific B cell responses. Accordingly, FcγRIIB deficiencies have been associated with B cell hyperactivity in patients with SLE and mouse models of lupus. However, we have previously shown that murine IgG2a-autoreactive AM14 B cells respond robustly to chromatin- associated ICs through a mechanism dependent on both the BCR and endosomal TLR9, despite FcγRIIB coexpression. To further evaluate the potential contribution of FcγRIIB to the regulation of autoreactive B cells, we have now compared the IC-triggered responses of FcγRIIB-deficient and FcγRIIB-sufficient AM14 B cells. We find that FcγRIIB-deficient cells respond significantly better than FcγRIIB-sufficient cells when stimulated with DNA ICs that incorporate low affinity TLR9 ligand (CG-poor dsDNA fragments). AM14 B cells also respond to RNA-associated ICs through BCR/TLR7 coengagement, but such BCR/TLR7 dependent responses are normally highly dependent on IFNα costimulation. However, we now show that AM14 FcγRIIB-/- B cells are very effectively activated by RNA ICs without supplemental IFNα priming. These results demonstrate that FcγRIIB can effectively modulate both BCR/TLR9 and BCR/TLR7 endosomal-dependent activation of autoreactive B cells.
PMCID: PMC3060940  PMID: 20809520
Autorective B cells; endogenous TLR ligands; inhibitory Fc receptor
17.  Can antibodies with specificity for soluble antigens mimic the therapeutic effects of intravenous IgG in the treatment of autoimmune disease? 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2005;115(1):155-160.
Intravenous Ig (IVIg) mediates protection from the effects of immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) as well as numerous other autoimmune states; however, the active antibodies within IVIg are unknown. There is some evidence that antibodies specific for a cell-associated antigen on erythrocytes are responsible, at least in part, for the therapeutic effect of IVIg in ITP. Yet whether an IVIg directed to a soluble antigen can likewise be beneficial in ITP or other autoimmune diseases is also unknown. A murine model of ITP was used to determine the effectiveness of IgG specific to soluble antigens in treating immune thrombocytopenic purpura. Mice experimentally treated with soluble OVA + anti-OVA versus mice treated with OVA conjugated to rbcs (OVA-rbcs) + anti-OVA were compared. In both situations, mice were protected from ITP. Both these experimental therapeutic regimes acted in a complement-independent fashion and both also blocked reticuloendothelial function. In contrast to OVA-rbcs + anti-OVA, soluble OVA + anti-OVA (as well as IVIg) did not have any effect on thrombocytopenia in mice lacking the inhibitory receptor FcγRIIB (FcγRIIB–/– mice). Similarly, antibodies reactive with the endogenous soluble antigens albumin and transferrin also ameliorated ITP in an FcγRIIB-dependent manner. Finally, broadening the significance of these experiments was the finding that anti-albumin was protective in a K/BxN serum–induced arthritis model. We conclude that IgG antibodies directed to soluble antigens ameliorated 2 disparate IVIg-treatable autoimmune diseases.
PMCID: PMC539200  PMID: 15630455
18.  Distinct and synergistic roles of FcγRIIB deficiency and 129 strain-derived SLAM family proteins in the development of spontaneous germinal centers and autoimmunity 
Journal of autoimmunity  2015;63:31-46.
The inhibitory IgG Fc receptor (FcγRIIB) deficiency and 129 strain-derived signaling lymphocyte activation molecules (129-SLAMs) are proposed to contribute to the lupus phenotype in FcγRIIB-deficient mice generated using 129 ES cells and backcrossed to C57BL/6 mice (B6.129.RIIBKO). In this study, we examine the individual contributions and the cellular mechanisms by which FcγRIIB deficiency and 129-derived SLAM family genes promote dysregulated spontaneous germinal center (Spt-GC) B cell and follicular helper T cell (Tfh) responses in B6.129.RIIBKO mice. We find that B6 mice congenic for the 129-derived SLAM locus (B6.129-SLAM) and B6 mice deficient in FcγRIIB (B6. RIIBKO) have increased Spt-GC B cell responses compared to B6 controls but significantly lower than B6.129.RIIBKO mice. These data indicate that both FcγRIIB deficiency and 129-SLAMs contribute to elevated Spt-GC B cell responses in B6.129.RIIBKO mice. However, only 129-SLAMs contribute significantly to augmented Tfh responses in B6.129.RIIBKO mice, and do so by a combination of T cell-dependent effects and enhanced B cell and DC-dependent antigen presentation to T cells. Elevated Spt-GC B cell responses in mice with FcγRIIB deficiency and polymorphic 129-SLAMs were associated with elevated metabolic activity, improved GC B cell survival and increased differentiation of naïve B cells into GC B cell phenotype. Our data suggest that the interplay between 129-SLAM expression on B cells, T cells and DCs is central to the alteration of the GC tolerance checkpoint, and that deficiency of FcγRIIB on B cells is necessary to augment Spt-GC responses, pathogenic autoantibodies, and lupus disease.
PMCID: PMC4564365  PMID: 26162758
Autoimmunity; Systemic lupus erythematosus; Germinal Centers; Inhibitory IgG receptor FcγIIB; Signaling lymphocyte activation molecules; B cells
19.  Interferon Regulatory Factor 5 Is Required For Disease Development In The FcγRIIB−/−Yaa and FcγRIIB−/− Mouse Models Of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus 1 
Polymorphisms in the transcription factor interferon regulatory factor 5 (IRF5) are strongly associated in human genetic studies with an increased risk of developing the autoimmune disease systemic lupus erythematosus. However, the biological role of IRF5 in lupus pathogenesis has not previously been tested in an animal model. In this study we show that IRF5 is absolutely required for disease development in the FcγRIIB−/−Yaa and FcγRIIB−/− lupus models. In contrast to IRF5-sufficient FcγRIIB−/−Yaa mice, IRF5-deficient FcγRIIB−/−Yaa mice do not develop lupus manifestations and have a phenotype comparable to wildtype mice. Strikingly, full expression of IRF5 is required for the development of autoimmunity as IRF5-heterozygotes had dramatically reduced disease. One effect of IRF5 is to induce the production of the type I interferon IFN-α, a cytokine implicated in lupus pathogenesis. To address the mechanism by which IRF5 promotes disease, we evaluated FcγRIIB−/−Yaa mice lacking the type I interferon receptor IFNAR1. Unlike the IRF5-deficient and IRF5-heterozygous FcγRIIB−/−Yaa mice, IFNAR1-deficient FcγRIIB−/−Yaa mice maintained a substantial level of residual disease. Furthermore, in FcγRIIB−/− mice lacking Yaa, IRF5-deficiency also markedly reduced disease manifestations indicating that the beneficial effects of IRF5 deficiency in FcγRIIB−/−Yaa mice are not due only to inhibition of the enhanced TLR7 signaling associated with the Yaa mutation. Overall, we demonstrate that IRF5 plays an essential role in lupus pathogenesis in murine models and that this is mediated through pathways beyond that of type I interferon production.
PMCID: PMC2858062  PMID: 20007534
20.  Clinical Outcomes of Initial Dexamethasone Treatment Combined with a Single High Dose of Intravenous Immunoglobulin for Primary Treatment of Kawasaki Disease 
Yonsei Medical Journal  2014;55(5):1260-1266.
To investigate the clinical effects of a single high dose intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) combined with initial dexamethasone as a primary treatment on Kawasaki disease (KD).
Materials and Methods
Between January 2008 and December 2010, we reviewed the medical records of 216 patients with complete KD patients that were admitted to a single medical center. 106 patients were treated with a single high dose of IVIG (2 g/kg) alone and 110 patients received IVIG and dexamethasone (0.3 mg/kg per day for three days).
The combined IVIG plus dexamethasone patient group had a significantly shorter febrile period and duration of hospital stay (1.4±0.7 days vs. 2.0±1.2 days, p<0.001; 5.8±1.7 days vs. 6.9±2.5 days, p<0.001, respectively) than the IVIG alone group. The combined IVIG plus dexamethasone group required IVIG retreatment significantly less than the IVIG only group (12.7% vs. 32%, p=0.003). After completion of the initial IVIG, C-reactive protein levels in the combined IVIG plus dexamethasone group were significantly lower than those in the IVIG only group (2.7±4.0 mg/dL vs. 4.6±8.7 mg/dL, p=0.03). In the combined IVIG plus dexamethasone group, the incidence of coronary artery lesions tended to be lower without worse outcomes at admission after initial infusion of IVIG and in follow-up at two months; however, the differences were not significant (8.2% vs. 11.3%, p=0.22; 0.9% vs. 2.8%, p=0.29).
Initial combined therapy with dexamethasone and a single high-dose of IVIG resulted in an improved clinical course, in particular a shorter febrile period, less IVIG retreatment, and shorter hospital stay without worse coronary outcomes.
PMCID: PMC4108810  PMID: 25048483
Dexamethasone; high-dose intravenous immunoglobulin; combined therapy; Kawasaki disease
21.  Coupling of FcγRI to FcγRIIB by Src Kinase Mediates C-reactive Protein Impairment of Endothelial Function 
Circulation research  2011;109(10):1132-1140.
Elevations in C-reactive protein (CRP) are associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk and endothelial dysfunction. CRP antagonizes endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) through processes mediated by the IgG receptor Fcγ receptor IIB (FcγRIIB), its immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibitory motif (ITIM), and SH2 domain-containing inositol 5’-phosphatase 1 (SHIP-1). In mice CRP actions on eNOS blunt carotid artery reendothelialization.
How CRP activates FcγRIIB in endothelium is not known. We determined the role of Fcγ receptor I (FcγRI) and the basis for coupling of FcγRI to FcγRIIB in endothelium.
Methods and Results
In cultured endothelial cells, FcγRI blocking antibodies prevented CRP antagonism of eNOS, and CRP activated Src via FcγRI. CRP-induced increases in FcγRIIB ITIM phosphorylation and SHIP-1 activation were Src-dependent, and Src inhibition prevented eNOS antagonism by CRP. Similar processes mediated eNOS antagonism by aggregated IgG used to mimic immune complex. Carotid artery reendothelialization was evaluated in offspring from crosses of CRP transgenic mice (TG-CRP) with either mice lacking the γ subunit of FcγRI (FcRγ−/−) or FcγRIIB−/− mice. Whereas reendothelialization was impaired in TG-CRP versus wild-type, it was normal in both FcRγ−/−;TG-CRP and FcγRIIB−/−;TG-CRP mice.
CRP antagonism of eNOS is mediated by the coupling of FcγRI to FcγRIIB by Src kinase and resulting activation of SHIP-1, and consistent with this mechanism, both FcγRI and FcγRIIB are required for CRP to blunt endothelial repair in vivo. Similar mechanisms underlie eNOS antagonism by immune complex. FcγRI and FcγRIIB may be novel therapeutic targets for preventing endothelial dysfunction in inflammatory or immune complex-mediated conditions.
PMCID: PMC3215097  PMID: 21940940
C-reactive protein; endothelial NO synthase; Fc receptor; reendothelialization
22.  Fine specificities of natural regulatory T cells after IVIG therapy in patients with Kawasaki disease 
Autoimmunity  2015;48(3):181-188.
The activation of natural regulatory T cells (nTreg) recognizing the heavy constant region (Fc) of IgG is an important mechanism of action of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) therapy in Kawasaki disease (KD). Lack of circulating Fc-specific nTreg in the sub-acute phase of KD is correlated with the development of coronary artery abnormalities (CAA). Here, we characterize the fine specificity of nTreg in sub-acute (2- to 8-week post-IVIG) and convalescent (1- to 10-year post-IVIG) KD subjects by testing the immunogenicity of 64 peptides, 15 amino acids in length with a 10 amino acid-overlap spanning the entire Fc protein. About 12 Fc peptides (6 pools of 2 consecutive peptides) were recognized by nTreg in the cohorts studied, including two patients with CAA. To test whether IVIG expands the same nTreg populations that maintain vascular homeostasis in healthy subjects, we compared these results with results obtained in healthy adult controls. Similar nTreg fine specificities were observed in KD patients after IVIG and in healthy donors. These results suggest that T cell fitness rather than T cell clonal deletion or anergy is responsible for the lack of Fc-specific nTreg in KD patients who develop CAA. Furthermore, we found that adolescents and adults who had KD during childhood without developing CAA did not respond to the Fc protein in vitro, suggesting that the nTreg response induced by IVIG in KD patients is short-lived. Our results support the concept that peptide epitopes may be a viable therapeutic approach to expand Fc-specific nTreg and more effectively prevent CAA in KD patients.
PMCID: PMC4784966  PMID: 25822882
Immunotherapy; immune-regulation; IVIG; Kawasaki disease; natural Treg
23.  Pathology and protection in nephrotoxic nephritis is determined by selective engagement of specific Fc receptors 
Introduction of heterologous anti–glomerular basement membrane antiserum (nephrotoxic serum, NTS) into presensitized mice triggers the production of IgG anti-NTS antibodies that are predominantly IgG2b and the glomerular deposition of pathogenic immune complexes, leading to accelerated renal disease. The pathology observed in this model is determined by the effector cell activation threshold that is established by the coexpression on infiltrating macrophages of the IgG2a/2b restricted activation receptor FcγRIV and its inhibitory receptor counterpart, FcγRIIB. Blocking FcγRIV with a specific monoclonal antibody thereby preventing IgG2b engagement or treatment with high dose intravenous γ-globulin (IVIG) to down-regulate FcγRIV while up-regulating FcγRIIB, protects mice from fatal disease. In the absence of FcγRIIB, IVIG is not protective; this indicates that reduced FcγRIV expression alone is insufficient to protect animals from pathogenic IgG2b immune complexes. These results establish the significance of specific IgG subclasses and their cognate FcγRs in renal disease.
PMCID: PMC2118246  PMID: 16520389
24.  Management of Kawasaki disease 
Kawasaki disease (KD) is an acute self-limiting inflammatory disorder, associated with vasculitis, affecting predominantly medium-sized arteries, particularly the coronary arteries. In developed countries KD is the commonest cause of acquired heart disease in childhood. The aetiology of KD remains unknown, and it is currently believed that one or more as yet unidentified infectious agents induce an intense inflammatory host response in genetically susceptible individuals. Genetic studies have identified several susceptibility genes for KD and its sequelae in different ethnic populations, including FCGR2A, CD40, ITPKC, FAM167A-BLK and CASP3, as well as genes influencing response to intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) and aneurysm formation such as FCGR3B, and transforming growth factor (TGF) β pathway genes. IVIG and aspirin are effective therapeutically, but recent clinical trials and meta-analyses have demonstrated that the addition of corticosteroids to IVIG is beneficial for the prevention of coronary artery aneurysms (CAA) in severe cases with highest risk of IVIG resistance. Outside of Japan, however, clinical scores to predict IVIG resistance perform suboptimally. Furthermore, the evidence base does not provide clear guidance on which corticosteroid regimen is most effective. Other therapies, including anti-TNFα, could also have a role for IVIG-resistant KD. Irrespective of these caveats, it is clear that therapy that reduces inflammation in acute KD, improves outcome. This paper summarises recent advances in the understanding of KD pathogenesis and therapeutics, and provides an approach for managing KD patients in the UK in the light of these advances.
PMCID: PMC3888612  PMID: 24162006
Infectious Diseases; Rheumatology
25.  Deregulated Fcγ receptor expression in patients with CIDP 
To evaluate the expression of activating and inhibitory Fc-gamma receptors (FcγRs) before and during clinically effective therapy with IV immunoglobulin (IVIg) in patients with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP).
Peripheral blood leukocyte subsets, including classical CD14highCD16− and nonclassical inflammatory CD14lowCD16+ monocytes as well as naive CD19+CD27− and memory CD19+CD27+ B cells, were obtained at baseline and monitored at 2 and 4–8 weeks after initiation of IVIg therapy.
Compared with healthy donors matched by age and sex, patients with CIDP showed increased expression levels of the activating high-affinity FcγR1 on CD14highCD16− (p < 0.001) and CD14lowCD16+ monocytes (p < 0.001). Expression of the activating low-affinity FcγRIIA was increased on CD14lowCD16+ monocytes (p = 0.023). Conversely, expression of the inhibitory FcγRIIB was reduced on naive (p = 0.009) and memory (p = 0.002) B cells as well as on CD14highCD16− monocytes (p = 0.046). Clinically effective IVIg therapy partially restored deregulated FcγR expression on B cell subsets and monocytes.
The FcγR regulatory system is disturbed in patients with CIDP. Balancing activating vs inhibitory FcγR expression might provide a clinical benefit for patients with CIDP.
PMCID: PMC4547878  PMID: 26380354

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