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J Immunol. 2009 Feb 1;182(3):1421-8.

B7RP-1 blockade ameliorates autoimmunity through regulation of follicular helper T cells.

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  • 1Department of Inflammation, Amgen, Inc., Thousand Oaks, CA 91320, USA.


Autoimmune diseases are marked by the presence of class-switched, high-affinity autoantibodies with pathogenic potential. Costimulation plays an important role in the activation of T cells and the development of T cell-dependent B cell responses. ICOS plays an indispensable role in the development of follicular helper T cells (T(FH) cells), which provide cognate help to germinal center (GC) B cells. We show that the levels of T(FH) cells and GC B cells in two different models of autoimmunity, the New Zealand Black/New Zealand White (NZB/NZW) F(1) mouse model of systemic lupus erythematosus and the collagen-induced arthritis model of rheumatoid arthritis, are dependent on the maintenance of the ICOS/B7RP-1 pathway. Treatment with an anti-B7RP-1 Ab ameliorates disease manifestations and leads to a decrease in T(FH) cells and GC B cells as well as an overall decrease in the frequency of ICOS(+) T cells. Coculture experiments of Ag-primed B cells with CXCR5(+) or CXCR5(-) T cells show that blocking B7RP-1 does not directly impact the production of IgG by B cells. These findings further support the role of ICOS in autoimmunity and suggest that the expansion of the T(FH) cell pool is an important mechanism by which ICOS regulates Ab production.

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