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J Immunol. 2000 Nov 1;165(9):5338-44.

Human double-negative T cells in systemic lupus erythematosus provide help for IgG and are restricted by CD1c.

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1
Division of Dermatology and Rheumatology, University of California School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA. psieling@mednet.ucla.edu

Abstract

To understand the mechanism of T cell help for IgG production in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) we investigated the response of CD4- and CD8-negative (double-negative (DN)) T cells because 1) DN T cells are present at unusually high frequency in patients with SLE and can induce pathogenic autoantibodies; 2) the DN T cell repertoire includes cells restricted by CD1 Ag-presenting molecules; and 3) CD1c is expressed on a population of circulating B cells. We derived DN T cell lines from SLE patients and healthy individuals. In the presence of CD1(+) APCs, DN T cell lines from SLE patients produced both IL-4 and IFN-gamma, whereas DN T cells from healthy donors produced IFN-gamma, but no IL-4. In general, cells from patients with highly active disease produced high levels of IFN-gamma; cells from those with little activity produced high IL-4. Coculture of CD1c-directly reactive T cells from healthy donors with CD1c(+) B cells elicited IgM Abs, but little or no IgG. In contrast, CD1c-directly reactive T cells from SLE patients induced isotype switching, with a striking increase in IgG production. Neutralizing Abs to CD1c inhibited the ability of DN T cells to induce IgG production from CD1c(+) B cells, further indicating that CD1c mediated the T and B cell interaction. IgG production was also inhibited by neutralizing Abs to IL-4, correlating with the cytokine pattern of DN T cells derived from these patients. The data suggest that CD1c-restricted T cells from SLE patients can provide help to CD1c(+) B cells for IgG production and could therefore promote pathogenic autoantibody responses in SLE.

PMID:
11046069
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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