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J Immunol. 2016 Mar 1;196(5):2075-84. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1501339. Epub 2016 Jan 29.

Autoreactive T Cells from Patients with Myasthenia Gravis Are Characterized by Elevated IL-17, IFN-γ, and GM-CSF and Diminished IL-10 Production.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06511; Department of Immunobiology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06511; kevin.oconnor@yale.edu yonghao.cao@yale.edu.
2
Department of Immunobiology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06511;
3
Department of Immunobiology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06511; Department of Pathology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06511; and Interdepartmental Program in Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511.
4
Department of Neurology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06511;
5
Department of Neurology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06511; kevin.oconnor@yale.edu yonghao.cao@yale.edu.

Abstract

Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a prototypical autoimmune disease that is among the few for which the target Ag and the pathogenic autoantibodies are clearly defined. The pathology of the disease is affected by autoantibodies directed toward the acetylcholine receptor (AChR). Mature, Ag-experienced B cells rely on the action of Th cells to produce these pathogenic Abs. The phenotype of the MG Ag-reactive T cell compartment is not well defined; thus, we sought to determine whether such cells exhibit both a proinflammatory and a pathogenic phenotype. A novel T cell library assay that affords multiparameter interrogation of rare Ag-reactive CD4(+) T cells was applied. Proliferation and cytokine production in response to both AChR and control Ags were measured from 3120 T cell libraries derived from 11 MG patients and paired healthy control subjects. The frequency of CCR6(+) memory T cells from MG patients proliferating in response to AChR-derived peptides was significantly higher than that of healthy control subjects. Production of both IFN-γ and IL-17, in response to AChR, was also restricted to the CCR6(+) memory T cell compartment in the MG cohort, indicating a proinflammatory phenotype. These T cells also included an elevated expression of GM-CSF and absence of IL-10 expression, indicating a proinflammatory and pathogenic phenotype. This component of the autoimmune response in MG is of particular importance when considering the durability of MG treatment strategies that eliminate B cells, because the autoreactive T cells could renew autoimmunity in the reconstituted B cell compartment with ensuing clinical manifestations.

PMID:
26826242
PMCID:
PMC4761502
[Available on 2017-03-01]
DOI:
10.4049/jimmunol.1501339
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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