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J Immunol. 2008 Mar 15;180(6):3807-14.

A lupus-suppressor BALB/c locus restricts IgG2 autoantibodies without altering intrinsic B cell-tolerance mechanisms.

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  • 1Laboratory of Immunogenetics, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, MD 20852, USA.


FcgammaR2B-deficient mice develop autoantibodies and glomerulonephritis with a pathology closely resembling human lupus when on the C57BL/6 (B6) background. The same mutation on the BALB/c background does not lead to spontaneous disease, suggesting differences in lupus susceptibility between the BALB/c and B6 strains. An F2 genetic analysis from a B6/BALB cross identified regions from the B6 chromosomes 12 and 17 with positive linkage for IgG autoantibodies. We have generated a congenic strain that contains the suppressor allele from the BALB/c chromosome 12 centromeric region (sbb2(a)) in an otherwise B6.FcgammaR2B(-/-) background. None of the B6.FcgammaR2B(-/-)sbb2(a/a) mice tested have developed IgG autoantibodies in the serum or autoimmune pathology. Mixed bone marrow reconstitution experiments indicate that sbb2(a) is expressed in non-B bone marrow-derived cells and acts in trans. sbb2(a) does not alter L chain editing frequencies of DNA Abs in the 3H9H/56R H chain transgenic mice, but the level of IgG2a anti-DNA Abs in the serum is reduced. Thus, sbb2(a) provides an example of a non-MHC lupus-suppressor locus that protects from disease by restricting the production of pathogenic IgG isotypes even in backgrounds with inefficient Ab editing checkpoints.

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