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FASEB J. 2013 Aug;27(8):3123-31. doi: 10.1096/fj.12-226951. Epub 2013 Apr 29.

Expansion of an osteopontin-expressing T follicular helper cell subset correlates with autoimmunity in B6.Sle1b mice and is suppressed by the H1-isoform of the Slamf6 receptor.

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1
Division of Immunology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Abstract

The costimulatory receptor Slamf6 partially controls lupus-related autoimmunity in congenic Sle1b mice; for instance, the presence of the protein isoform Slamf6-H1 in Sle1b.Slamf6-H1 mice mitigates disease. Here, we report that young Sle1b mice, but not Sle1b.Slamf6-H1 or B6 mice, contain a memory T-helper cell subset identified by ]mt]2-fold increase in expression of 17 genes, chief among which is Spp1, encoding the cytokine osteopontin (OPN). These T follicular helper (TFH) cells, including OPN(+) TFH cells, expand concomitantly with severity of the disease. By contrast, Sle1b.Slamf6-H1 or Sle1b.SAP(-)/(-) mice do not develop autoantibodies and the number of T(FH) cells is 5 times lower than in age-matched Sle1b mice. By comparing Sle1b and Sle1b.OPN(-)/(-) mice, we find that the lack of OPN expression impedes early autoantibody production. Furthermore, on the adoptive transfer of Sle1b.OPN(-)/(-) CD4(+) T cells into bm12 recipients autoantibody production and germinal center formation is reduced compared to recipients of Sle1b.OPN(+/+) CD4(+) T cells. We propose a model in which OPN provides a survival signal for a precursor T(FH) cell subset, which is a key factor in autoimmunity.

KEYWORDS:

Ly108; OPN; SAP; TFH; systemic lupus erythematosus

PMID:
23629864
PMCID:
PMC3714581
DOI:
10.1096/fj.12-226951
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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