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J Exp Med. 2010 Aug 2;207(8):1757-73. doi: 10.1084/jem.20100086. Epub 2010 Jul 12.

Myeloid cells, BAFF, and IFN-gamma establish an inflammatory loop that exacerbates autoimmunity in Lyn-deficient mice.

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  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.

Abstract

Autoimmunity is traditionally attributed to altered lymphoid cell selection and/or tolerance, whereas the contribution of innate immune cells is less well understood. Autoimmunity is also associated with increased levels of B cell-activating factor of the TNF family (BAFF; also known as B lymphocyte stimulator), a cytokine that promotes survival of self-reactive B cell clones. We describe an important role for myeloid cells in autoimmune disease progression. Using Lyn-deficient mice, we show that overproduction of BAFF by hyperactive myeloid cells contributes to inflammation and autoimmunity in part by acting directly on T cells to induce the release of IFN-gamma. Genetic deletion of IFN-gamma or reduction of BAFF activity, achieved by either reducing myeloid cell hyperproduction or by treating with an anti-BAFF monoclonal antibody, reduced disease development in lyn(-/-) mice. The increased production of IFN-gamma in lyn(-/-) mice feeds back on the myeloid cells to further stimulate BAFF release. Expression of BAFF receptor on T cells was required for their full activation and IFN-gamma release. Overall, our data suggest that the reciprocal production of BAFF and IFN-gamma establishes an inflammatory loop between myeloid cells and T cells that exacerbates autoimmunity in this model. Our findings uncover an important pathological role of BAFF in autoimmune disorders.

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