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J Immunol. 2014 Feb 1;192(3):875-85. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1300683. Epub 2013 Dec 30.

Requirement for MyD88 signaling in B cells and dendritic cells for germinal center anti-nuclear antibody production in Lyn-deficient mice.

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Key Laboratory of Infection and Immunity, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China;


The intracellular tyrosine kinase Lyn mediates inhibitory receptor function in B cells and myeloid cells, and Lyn(-/-) mice spontaneously develop an autoimmune and inflammatory disease that closely resembles human systemic lupus erythematosus. TLR-signaling pathways have been implicated in the production of anti-nuclear Abs in systemic lupus erythematosus and mouse models of it. We used a conditional allele of Myd88 to determine whether the autoimmunity of Lyn(-/-) mice is dependent on TLR/MyD88 signaling in B cells and/or in dendritic cells (DCs). The production of IgG anti-nuclear Abs, as well as the deposition of these Abs in the glomeruli of the kidneys, leading to glomerulonephritis in Lyn(-/-) mice, were completely abolished by selective deletion of Myd88 in B cells, and autoantibody production and glomerulonephritis were delayed or decreased by deletion of Myd88 in DCs. The reduced autoantibody production in mice lacking MyD88 in B cells or DCs was accompanied by a dramatic decrease in the spontaneous germinal center (GC) response, suggesting that autoantibodies in Lyn(-/-) mice may depend on GC responses. Consistent with this view, IgG anti-nuclear Abs were absent if T cells were deleted (TCRβ(-/-) TCRδ(-/-) mice) or if T cells were unable to contribute to GC responses as the result of mutation of the adaptor molecule SAP. Thus, the autoimmunity of Lyn(-/-) mice was dependent on T cells and on TLR/MyD88 signaling in B cells and in DCs, supporting a model in which DC hyperactivity combines with defects in tolerance in B cells to lead to a T cell-dependent systemic autoimmunity in Lyn(-/-) mice.

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