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J Immunol. 2013 May 15;190(10):4982-90. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1202986. Epub 2013 Apr 15.

Role of nucleic acid-sensing TLRs in diverse autoantibody specificities and anti-nuclear antibody-producing B cells.

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Department of Immunology and Microbial Science, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


Nucleic acid (NA)-sensing TLRs (NA-TLRs) promote the induction of anti-nuclear Abs in systemic lupus erythematosus. However, the extent to which other nonnuclear pathogenic autoantibody specificities that occur in lupus and independently in other autoimmune diseases depend on NA-TLRs, and which immune cells require NA-TLRs in systemic autoimmunity, remains to be determined. Using Unc93b1(3d) lupus-prone mice that lack NA-TLR signaling, we found that all pathogenic nonnuclear autoantibody specificities examined, even anti-RBC, required NA-TLRs. Furthermore, we document that NA-TLRs in B cells were required for the development of antichromatin and rheumatoid factor. These findings support a unifying NA-TLR-mediated mechanism of autoantibody production that has both pathophysiological and therapeutic implications for systemic lupus erythematosus and several other humoral-mediated autoimmune diseases. In particular, our findings suggest that targeting of NA-TLR signaling in B cells alone would be sufficient to specifically block production of a broad diversity of autoantibodies.

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