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Am J Pathol. 2009 May;174(5):1715-24. doi: 10.2353/ajpath.2009.080695. Epub 2009 Apr 9.

Role of plasmacytoid dendritic cells for aberrant class II expression in exocrine glands from estrogen-deficient mice of healthy background.

Author information

1
Department of Oral Molecular Pathology, Institute of Health Biosciences, The University of Tokushima Graduate School, Tokushima, Japan.

Abstract

Although it has been well documented that aberrant major histocompatibility complex class II molecules may contribute to the development of autoimmune disorders, the precise mechanisms responsible for their tissue-specific expression remain unknown. Here we show that estrogen deficiency induces aberrant class II major histocompatibility complex expression in exocrine glands via interactions between epithelial cells and plasmacytoid dendritic cells. Relatively modest but functionally significant expression levels of major histocompatibility complex class II and class II transactivator molecules were observed in the exocrine glands of ovariectomized (Ovx) C57BL/6 (B6) mice, but were not seen in the exocrine glands of control B6 mice. We observed that the salivary dendritic cells adjacent to the apoptotic epithelial cells positive for terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling, were activated in Ovx mice, but were not activated in control mice. We obtained evidence that the salivary gland cells express both interferon regulatory factor-1 and class II transactivator type IV molecules in Ovx mice. Salivary gland cells from Ovx mice were also capable of inducing the activation of antigen-specific T cells from OT-II transgenic mice. These findings indicate that estrogen deficiency initiates class II transactivator type IV mRNA expression in exocrine glands via interactions between epithelial cells and plasmacytoid dendritic cells, suggesting that plasmacytoid dendritic cells play a pivotal role in gender-based autoimmune disorders in postmenopausal women.

PMID:
19359524
PMCID:
PMC2671260
DOI:
10.2353/ajpath.2009.080695
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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