CD1d-reactive invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells secrete multiple cytokines upon T cell receptor (TCR) engagement and modulate many immune-mediated conditions. The purpose of this study was to examine the role of these cells in the development of autoimmune disease in genetically lupus-prone (NZB × NZW)F1 (BWF1) mice.
The CD1d1-null genotype was crossed onto the NZB and NZW backgrounds to establish CD1d1-knockout (CD1d0) BWF1 mice. CD1d0 mice and their wild-type littermates were monitored for the development of nephritis and assessed for cytokine responses to CD1d-restricted glycolipid α-galactosylceramide (αGalCer), anti-CD3 antibody, and con-canavalin A (Con A). Thymus and spleen cells were stained with CD1d tetramers that had been loaded with αGalCer or its analog PBS-57 to detect iNKT cells, and the cells were compared between BWF1 mice and class II major histocompatibility complex–matched nonautoimmune strains, including BALB/c, (BALB/c × NZW)F1 (CWF1), and NZW.
CD1d0 BWF1 mice had more severe nephritis than did their wild-type littermates. Although iNKT cells and iNKT cell responses were absent in CD1d0 BWF1 mice, the CD1d0 mice continued to have significant numbers of interferon-γ–producing NKT-like (CD1d-independent TCRβ+,NK1.1+ and/or DX5+) cells. CD1d deficiency also influenced cytokine responses by conventional T cells: upon in vitro stimulation of splenocytes with Con A or anti-CD3, type 2 cytokine levels were reduced, whereas type 1 cytokine levels were increased or unchanged in CD1d0 mice as compared with their wild-type littermates. Additionally, numbers of thymic iNKT cells were lower in young wild-type BWF1 mice than in nonautoimmune strains.
Germline deletion of CD1d exacerbates lupus in BWF1 mice. This finding, together with reduced thymic iNKT cells in young BWF1 mice as compared with nonautoimmune strains, implies a regulatory role of CD1d and iNKT cells during the development of lupus.
T cells, particularly those producing IL-4, are implicated in inflammation-mediated fibrosis. In our phase I/IIa open-label pilot study in 15 patients with scleroderma-interstitial lung disease (SSc-ILD), high-dose imatinib treatment showed modest improvement in lung function and skin score, but with several adverse events. Here, we investigated T cell phenotype and cytokine production in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) from patients enrolled in this trial. We found that IL-4+ T cells showed a stronger correlation with ground glass opacity (GGO) than fibrosis scores on lung high-resolution computer tomography scans. Frequencies of IL-4+ T cells also discriminated patients with high (≥20) versus low (<20) GGO scores. Functional annotation clustering of proteins that correlated with T cells identified two major clusters that belonged to immune/inflammatory and wounding response. Repeat analyses after one year of treatment in 10 BAL samples, one each from the right middle and lower lobes of lung from 5 patients, showed that post-imatinib, IL-4+ T cells were profoundly reduced but CD4+ T cells increased, except in one patient who showed worsening of SSc-ILD. Post-imatinib increase in CD4+ T cells correlated with soluble ICAM-3 and PECAM-1 levels in BAL, which associated with the lack of worsening in SSc-ILD. Thus, imatinib might confer its therapeutic effect in fibrosis via re-directing T cell responses from type 2 to other, non-type 2 cytokine producing CD4+ T cells.
IL-4; T cells; imatinib; scleroderma; fibrosis
Autoantibody production is a hallmark of autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Accumulating evidence suggests a role of invariant natural killer T cells (iNKT) in their pathogenesis. Mechanisms underlying iNKT role in these diseases, however, remain unclear. Here, we show that iNKTs suppress IgG anti-DNA Ab and rheumatoid factor production and reduce interleukin-10–secreting B cells in a contact-dependent manner, but increase total IgG production and enhance activation markers on B cells via soluble factors. In vivo reconstitution with iNKTs also reduces autoantibody production in iNKT-deficient mice and in SCID mice implanted with B cells. Using an anti-DNA transgenic model, we found that autoreactive B cells spontaneously produce IL-10 and are activated in vivo. In the presence of activated iNKTs, these autoreactive B cells are selectively reduced, whereas non-autoreactive B cells are markedly activated. Since iNKTs recognize CD1d, we reasoned that CD1d might play a role in the differential regulation of autoreactive vs. non-autoreactive B cells by iNKTs. Indeed, autoreactive B cells express more CD1d than non-autoreactive B cells, and CD1d-deficiency in lupus mice exacerbates autoantibody production and enhances Ab response to a self peptide but not to a foreign peptide. Importantly, iNKTs fail to inhibit autoantibody production by CD1d-deficient B cells. Thus, iNKTs inhibit autoreactive B cells in a contact- and CD1d-dependent manner, but activate non-autoreactive B cells via cytokines. Such ability of iNKTs to suppress autoantibody production, without causing global suppression of B cells, has important implications for the development of iNKT-based therapy for autoimmune diseases.
Rodent; B cells; T cells; Autoimmunity; Systemic lupus erythematosus
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chroni c autoimmune disease characterized by loss of tolerance to self-antigens and activation of autoreactive T cells. Regulatory T cells (Treg) play a critical role in controlling the activation of autoreactive T cells. Here, we investigated mechanisms of potential Treg defects in SLE using MRL-Faslpr/lpr (MRL/lpr) and MRL-Fas+/+ (MRL+/+) mouse models. We found a significant increase in CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ Treg cells, albeit with an altered phenotype (CD62L–CD69+) and with a reduced suppressive capacity, in the lymphoid organs of MRL strains compared to non-autoimmune C3H mice. A search for mechanisms underlying the altered Treg phenotype in MRL/lpr mice led us to find a profound reduction in Dicer expression and an altered microRNA (miRNA, miR) profile in MRL/lpr Treg cells. Despite having a reduced level of Dicer, MRL/lpr Treg cells exhibited a significant overexpression of several miRNAs including let-7a, let-7f, miR-16, miR-23a, miR-23b, miR-27a and miR-155. Using computational approaches, we identified one of the upregulated miRNAs, miR-155 that can target CD62L and may thus confer the altered Treg phenotype in MRL/lpr mice. In fact, the induced overexpression of miR-155 in otherwise normal (C3H) Treg cells reduced their CD62L expression, which mimics the altered Treg phenotype in MRL/lpr mice. These data suggest a role of Dicer and miR-155 in regulating Treg cell phenotype. Furthermore, simultaneous appearance of Dicer insufficiency and miR-155 overexpression in diseased mice suggests a Dicer-independent alternative mechanism of miRNA regulation under inflammatory conditions.
Lupus; Treg cells; Dicer; miRNA
Tissue-resident dendritic cells, such as Langerhans cells (LC), normally carry Ags from tissues to lymph nodes to induce immunity to tissue Ags. In this study, we report that LC are reduced in the skin-draining lymph nodes of MRL-Faslpr/lpr and MRL-Fas+/+ mice that develop T cell-mediated autoimmune skin inflammation as compared with MHC-matched healthy strains. This deficiency of LC in skin-draining lymph nodes is due to a profound impairment of LC migration, resulting in the accumulation of activated LC in the skin. Such a defect in LC migration develops before the onset of skin lesions and correlates with the onset and severity of dermatitis. The reduced, rather than increased, migration of LC from skin to skin-draining lymph nodes represents a novel functional abnormality of LC in autoimmune dermatitis.
Ample evidence suggests a role of TGF-β in preventing autoimmunity. Multiorgan inflammatory disease, spontaneous activation of self-reactive T cells, and autoantibody production are hallmarks of autoimmune diseases, such as lupus. These features are reminiscent of the immunopathology manifest in TGF-β1-deficient mice. In this study, we show that lupus-prone (New Zealand Black and White)F1 mice have reduced expression of TGF-β1 in lymphoid tissues, and TGF-β1 or TGF-β1-producing T cells suppress autoantibody production. In contrast, the expression of TGF-β1 protein and mRNA and TGF-β signaling proteins (TGF-β receptor type II and phosphorylated SMAD3) increases in the target organs, i.e., kidneys, of these mice as they age and develop progressive organ damage. In fact, the levels of TGF-β1 in kidney tissue and urine correlate with the extent of chronic lesions that represent local tissue fibrosis. In vivo TGF-β blockade by treatment of these mice with an anti-TGF-β Ab selectively inhibits chronic fibrotic lesions without affecting autoantibody production and the inflammatory component of tissue injury. Thus, TGF-β plays a dual, seemingly paradoxical, role in the development of organ damage in multiorgan autoimmune diseases. According to our working model, reduced TGF-β in immune cells predisposes to immune dysregulation and autoantibody production, which causes tissue inflammation that triggers the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines such as TGF-β in target organs to counter inflammation. Enhanced TGF-β in target organs, in turn, can lead to dysregulated tissue repair, progressive fibrogenesis, and eventual end-organ damage.
Mechanisms that initiate lupus nephritis and cause progression to end-stage renal disease remain poorly understood. In this study, we show that lupus-prone New Zealand Mixed 2410 mice that develop a severe glomerulosclerosis and rapidly progressive renal disease overexpress IL-4 in vivo. In these mice, STAT6 deficiency or anti-IL-4 Ab treatment decreases type 2 cytokine responses and ameliorates kidney disease, particularly glomerulosclerosis, despite the presence of high levels of IgG anti-dsDNA Abs. STAT4 deficiency, however, decreases type 1 and increases type 2 cytokine responses, and accelerates nephritis, in the absence of high levels of IgG anti-dsDNA Abs. Thus, STAT6 and IL-4 may selectively contribute to the development of glomerulosclerosis, whereas STAT4 may play a role in autoantibody production.
Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, such as captopril, are used to control hypertension. In patients and animals with primary nephropathies, these agents improve renal function more than that would be expected from their control of hypertension. Here, we examine the effects of treatment with captopril on lupus nephritis and discuss the potential mechanism(s) by which this agent exerts its renoprotective effects.
Lupus-prone, NZB/NZW F1 and MRL-lpr/lpr, mice were treated with captopril or with a control antihypertensive agent, verapamil. Mice were monitored for nephritis, and their sera and tissues analyzed for cytokine and transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) expression.
Captopril treatment delayed the onset of proteinuria when administered to prenephritic mice, whereas verapamil did not. Captopril treatment also retarded disease progression when given to lupus mice that had early disease, and even reversed severe proteinuria in at least some older animals with advanced disease. It reduced chronic renal lesions, but had no effect on autoantibody production. The improvement in renal disease correlated with reduced TGF-β expression, particularly of the TGF-β1 and TGF-β2 isoforms, in the kidneys. Interestingly, in vivo or in vitro exposure to captopril reduced splenic levels of type 2 cytokines, interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-10, suggesting a possible role of the immune system in captopril-mediated disease modulation.
Since type 2 cytokines are known to promote lupus glomerulosclerosis, decreased IL-4 and IL-10 production in captopril-treated mice may be related to this agent’s renoprotective effects. We argue here that ACE inhibitors not only act as selective TGF-β inhibitors, but also as selective immunomodulators, to improve lupus nephritis.
animal models; autoantibodies; cytokines; lupus nephritis; systemic lupus erythematosus; transforming growth factor β
Mechanisms responsible for the development of autoimmune skin disease in humans and animal models with lupus remain poorly understood. In this study, we have investigated the role of CD1d, an antigen-presenting molecule known to activate natural killer T cells, in the development of inflammatory dermatitis in lupus-susceptible MRL-lpr/lpr mice. In particular, we have established MRL-lpr/lpr mice carrying a germ-line deletion of the CD1d genes. We demonstrate that CD1d-deficient MRL-lpr/lpr mice, as compared with wild-type littermates, have more frequent and more severe skin disease, with increased local infiltration with mast cells, lymphocytes and dendritic cells, including Langerhans cells. CD1d-deficient MRL-lpr/lpr mice had increased prevalence of CD4+ T cells in the spleen and liver and of TCRαβ+B220+ cells in lymph nodes. Furthermore, CD1d deficiency was associated with decreased T cell production of type 2 cytokines and increased or unchanged type 1 cytokines. These findings indicate a regulatory role of CD1d in inflammatory dermatitis. Understanding the mechanisms by which CD1d deficiency results in splenic T cell expansion and cytokine alterations, with increased dermal infiltration of dendritic cells and lymphocytes in MRL-lpr/lpr mice, will have implications for the pathogenesis of inflammatory skin diseases.
Autoimmunity; CD1d; Dermatitis; Lupus; NKT cells
Current treatments for autoantibody-mediated diseases, such as lupus, can cause nonspecific immune suppression. In this paper, we used a bioinformatic approach to identify major histocompatibility complex class I–binding epitopes in the heavy chain variable region of anti-DNA antibodies from lupus-prone (NZB/NZW F1) mice. Vaccination of such mice with plasmid DNA vectors encoding these epitopes induced CD8+ T cells that killed anti-DNA antibody-producing B cells, reduced serum anti-DNA antibody levels, retarded the development of nephritis, and improved survival. Vaccine-mediated induction of anti-VH cytotoxic T lymphocytes that ablate autoreactive B cells represents a novel approach to treat autoantibody-mediated diseases.
animal models; peptides; systemic lupus erythematosus; T cell epitopes; T cells
β2-microglobulin (β2m) is required for the surface expression of MHC class I and class I-like proteins such as CD1d, Qa1 and neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn), all of which may impact the development of autoimmunity. Since CD1d is known to bind and present phospholipid antigens to T cells, we asked if the deficiency of β2m or CD1d will impact the development of anti-phospholipid antibodies as compared to other aspects of lupus autoimmunity.
We introgressed the β2m-null genotype onto the NZB and NZW backgrounds for 12 to 14 generations to generate genetically lupus-susceptible (NZB/NZW)F1 (BWF1) mice that are β2m-deficient (β2m°). Circulating immunoglobulins (Ig), rheumatoid factor (RF), anti-DNA and anti-cardiolipin (anti-CL) antibodies, and renal disease were analyzed in these and CD1d-deficient (CD1d°) BWF1 mice that we had previously generated.
Whereas β2m° BWF1 mice had reduced serum IgG, they had increased mortality, nephritis, serum IgG anti-DNA antibody and RF as compared to heterozygous and wild-type littermates. These effects were recapitulated in CD1d° BWF1 mice, except that they also had increased serum IgG as compared to control littermates. Intriguingly, both β2m° and CD1d° mice had lower serum anti-CL antibody levels than in control littermates. Such CD1d dependence of anti-CL antibody production is not mediated by CD1d/glycolipid-reactive iNKT cells, as these cells reduced the production of RF and anti-DNA antibodies but had no effect on anti-CL antibodies.
We report a novel dichotomous role of β2m and CD1d, whereby these molecules differently regulate autoimmunity against phospholipid versus non-phospholipid autoantigens.
CD1d presents glycolipid antigens such as α-galactosylceramide (αGalCer) to invariant natural killer T cells (iNKT). We have reported that activated iNKTs inhibit IL-10-producing autoreactive B cells, while promoting or leaving intact the normal B cell responses, making iNKT modulation an attractive therapeutic modality. Here, we report that a brief treatment of young lupus-prone (NZB/NZW)F1 (BWF1) mice with two injections of αGalCer conferred a long-term protection against lupus. Long-term repeated administrations of αGalCer, however, afforded no clinical benefit. These disparate clinical effects correlated with iNKT responsiveness. While a brief treatment with αGalCer enhanced iNKT responses upon in vitro recall, the long-term αGalCer treatment resulted in reduced iNKT responses in BWF1 mice. The improvement in disease with αGalCer treatment was associated with the reduced IL-10 production. Furthermore, iNKTs directly inhibited IL-10-secreting cells in vivo in reconstituted SCID mice and inhibited IL-10-secreting B cells in vitro in co-cultures. Thus, a brief treatment with a CD1d-binding glycolipid enhances iNKT responses, reduces IL-10 production, and delays the onset of lupus, whereas long-term repeated treatments induce marked iNKT hyporesponsiveness and do not affect disease outcome in BWF1 mice. Identifying glycolipid regimens that can modulate iNKT responsiveness will have important implications for developing iNKT-based therapies for autoimmune diseases.
Rodent; T cells; autoimmunity; systemic lupus erythematosus
Marginal zone B cells (MZB) mount a rapid antibody response, potently activate naïve T cells, and are enriched in autoreactive B cells. MZBs express high levels of CD1d, the restriction element for invariant natural killer T cells (iNKT). Here, we examined the effect of iNKT cells on MZB cell activation and numbers in vitro and in vivo in normal and autoimmune mice. Results show that iNKT cells activate MZBs, but restrict their numbers in vitro and in vivo in normal BALB/c and C57/BL6 mice. iNKT cells do so by increasing the activation-induced cell death and curtailing proliferation of MZB cells, whereas they promote the proliferation of follicular B cells. Sorted iNKT cells can directly execute this function, without help from other immune cells. Such MZB regulation by iNKTs is mediated, at least in part, via CD1d on B cells in a contact-dependent manner, whereas iNKT-induced proliferation of follicular B cells occurs in a contact- and CD1d-independent manner. Finally, we show that iNKT cells reduce ‘autoreactive’ MZB cells in an anti-DNA transgenic model, and limit MZB cell numbers in autoimmune-prone (NZB×NZW)F1 and non-obese diabetic mice, suggesting a potentially new mechanism whereby iNKT cells might regulate pathologic autoimmunity. Differential regulation of follicular B cells versus potentially autoreactive MZBs by iNKT cells has important implications for autoimmune diseases as well as for conditions that require a rapid innate B cell response.
Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) antagonists have shown remarkable efficacy in a variety of immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMIDs). Therapeutic scope and limitations of these agents are reviewed in a recently published article in the Journal. In spite of their therapeutic popularity, little is known about their modes of action in vivo and factors that limit their scope of therapeutic use. Intriguingly, while all TNFα antagonists including blocking antibodies and soluble receptors are effective in certain IMIDs, only anti-TNFα antibodies are effective in other IMIDs. Early efforts at understanding how TNFα antagonists act in IMIDs centered on their ability to neutralize soluble TNFα or to block TNF receptors from binding to their ligands. Subsequent studies suggested a role of complement-mediated lysis or antibody-dependent cell cytotoxicity in their therapeutic effects. More recent models postulate that TNFα blockers may act by affecting intracellular signaling, with the end result being a hastened cell cycle arrest, apoptosis, suppression of cytokine production, or improved Treg cell function. TNFα antagonists can also modulate the functions of myofibroblasts and osteoclasts, which might explain how TNFα antagonists reduce tissue damage in chronic IMIDs. Focusing on the human therapeutic experience, this analytical review will review the biology of mechanisms of action, the limiting factors contributing to disease restriction in therapeutic efficacy, and the mechanism and frequency of treatment-limiting adverse responses of TNFα antagonists. It is hoped that the overview will address the needs of clinicians to decide on optimal use, spur clinical innovation, and incite translational researchers to set priorities for in vivo human investigations.
Adalimumab; Antibody dependent cytoxicity; Apoptosis; Autoantibody; Autoimmune diseases; Biologic therapies; Caspase; CDP-571; Certolizumab; Complement mediated cytolysis; Crohn's disease; Cytokine; Dendritic cells; Etancerceot; Golimumab; Graft-versus-host disease; Immune regulation; Immunotherapy; Infection; Inflammatory bowel disease; Inflammatory diseases; Infliximab; Myofibroblast; Onercept; Osteoclast; Pegsunercept; Regulatory T cells; Rheumatoid arthritis; Small molecule inhibitors; Tuberculosis; Tumor necrosis factor-alpha; Tumor necrosis factor receptor; Tumor necrosis factor signalling
Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) antagonists including antibodies and soluble receptors have shown remarkable efficacy in various immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (IMID). As experience with these agents has matured, there is an emerging need to integrate and critically assess the utility of these agents across disease states and clinical sub-specialties. Their remarkable efficacy in reducing chronic damage in Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis has led many investigators to propose a new, ‘top down’ paradigm for treating patients initially with aggressive regimens to quickly control disease. Intriguingly, in diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and asthma, anti-TNFα agents appear to more profoundly benefit patients with more chronic stages of disease but have a relatively weaker or little effect in early disease. While the spectrum of therapeutic efficacy of TNFα antagonists widens to include diseases such as recalcitrant uveitis and vasculitis, these agents have failed or even exacerbated diseases such as heart failure and multiple sclerosis. Increasing use of these agents has also led to recognition of new toxicities as well as to understanding of their excellent long-term tolerability. Disconcertingly, new cases of active tuberculosis still occur in patients treated with all TNFα antagonists due to lack of compliance with recommendations to prevent reactivation of latent tuberculosis infection. These safety issues as well as guidelines to prevent treatment-associated complications are reviewed in detail in this article. New data on mechanisms of action and development of newer TNFα antagonists are discussed in a subsequent article in the Journal. It is hoped that these two review articles will stimulate a fresh assessment of the priorities for research and clinical innovation to improve and extend therapeutic use and safety of TNFα antagonism.
Adalimumab; Ankylosing spondylitis; Autoimmune diseases; Biologic therapies; Bronchial asthma; Congestive heart failure; Crohn’s disease; Cytokines; Etancerceot; Glomerulonephritis; Hepatitis; Immunotherapy; Infection; Inflammatory bowel disease; Inflammatory diseases; Infliximab; Juvenile idiopathic arthritis; Multiple sclerosis; Psoriasis; Psoriatic arthritis; Rheumatoid arthritis; Sarcoidosis; Tumor necrosis; factor-alpha; Ulcerative colitis; Vasculitis
Most autoimmune diseases are more common in women than in men. This may be caused by differences in sex hormones, sex chromosomes, or both. In this study, we determined if there was a contribution of sex chromosomes to sex differences in susceptibility to two immunologically distinct disease models, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) and pristane-induced lupus. Transgenic SJL mice were created to permit a comparison between XX and XY within a common gonadal type. Mice of the XX sex chromosome complement, as compared with XY, demonstrated greater susceptibility to both EAE and lupus. This is the first evidence that the XX sex chromosome complement, as compared with XY, confers greater susceptibility to autoimmune disease.
Both spontaneous and chemically induced rodent models of autoimmune nephritis and autoantibody production have been explored to understand mechanisms involved in human systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). While it has been known for decades that women are more susceptible than men to SLE, mechanisms underlying this female preponderance remain unclear. One chemically induced model involves injection of hydrocarbon oils such as pristane into otherwise normal mouse strains, which results in the development of autoantibodies and inflammation in organs such as kidney and liver. It is unknown whether lupus-like disease induced by chemicals would exhibit a sex bias in disease susceptibility. Here, we show that SJL/J female mice injected with pristane display greater mortality, kidney disease, serum anti-nuclear and anti-dsDNA antibodies than their male siblings. This is the first evidence that a female sex bias exists in a chemically induced lupus model.
Systemic lupus erythematosus; Pristane; Autoantibodies; Nephritis, sex bias; Anti-nuclear antibody; Anti-dsDNA antibody
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE, lupus) results from immune-mediated damage to multiple organs. Its pathogenesis should be viewed as a series of steps, beginning with impaired immune regulation that permits self-reactive T–B-cell activation, which results in the production of autoantibodies. Activated T and B cells then infiltrate tissues, which along with autoanti-body and immune complex deposition, triggering local events that ultimately cause organ damage. Although improved understanding of early autoimmune events might open up avenues for disease prevention, future investigations must focus on the mechanisms of end-organ damage in model systems and how to translate this knowledge into human disease. Understanding the mechanisms of each pathogenetic step would provide a rational basis for the development of disease stage-specific diagnostic markers and treatments.
Immunization with portions of a murine antibody to DNA induced Ig peptide-reactive peripheral CD8+ inhibitory T (Ti) cells in non-autoimmune (BALB/c × NZW) F1 (CWF1) mice. Those Ti suppressed in vitro production of IgG anti-DNA by lymphocytes from MHC-matched, lupus-prone (NZB × NZW) F1 (BWF1) mice, primarily via secretion of transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β). However, splenic CD8+ cells from immunized BWF1 mice failed to suppress anti-DNA. Therefore, BWF1 mice were studied for defects in peripheral CD8+ T cells. The potential to suppress autoimmunity mediated by activated CD4+ helper T and B cells in BWF1 mice was assessed. As BWF1 mice aged, peripheral CD8+ T cells expanded little; fewer than 10% displayed surface markers of activation and memory. In contrast, quantities of splenic CD4+ T and B cells increased; high proportions displayed activation/memory markers. In old compared to young BWF1 mice, splenic cell secretion of two cytokines required for generation of CD8+ T effectors, IL-2 and TGF-β, was decreased. Immunizing BWF1 mice activated peptide-reactive CD8+ T cells, but their number was decreased compared to young BWF1 or old normal mice. While peptide-reactive splenic CD8+ T cells from immunized BWF1 mice did not survive in short-term cultures, similar CD8+ T cell lines from immunized CWF1 mice expanded and on transfer into BWF1 mice delayed autoimmunity and prolonged survival. Therefore, CD8+ T cells in old BWF1 mice are impaired in expansion, acquisition of memory, secretion of cytokine, and suppression of autoimmunity. Understanding these defects might identify targets for therapy in systemic lupus erythematosus.
Inhibitory CD8+ T cells; Lupus