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Front Immunol. 2018 Jul 9;9:1516. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.01516. eCollection 2018.

In Situ Humoral Immunity to Vimentin in HLA-DRB1*03+ Patients With Pulmonary Sarcoidosis.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, Section of Rheumatology, Gwen Knapp Center for Lupus and Immunology Research, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, United States.
2
Respiratory Medicine Unit, Department of Medicine, Solna and Center for Molecular Medicine, Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital Solna, Stockholm, Sweden.
3
Proteomics Core Laboratory, Cummings Life Science Center, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, United States.

Abstract

Vimentin has been implicated in pulmonary sarcoidosis as a T-cell autoantigen, particularly in the context of HLA-DRB1*03, the Vα2.3/Vβ22 T-cell receptor (TCR), and Löfgren's syndrome. As vimentin is a known antigenic target in B-cell-mediated autoimmunity, we investigated in situ humoral anti-vimentin responses in pulmonary sarcoidosis and their relationship with HLA-DRB1*03. Sarcoid and healthy control (HC) lung biopsies were analyzed by multi-color confocal microscopy for B-cells, T-cells, proliferation, and vimentin, and compared to tonsillectomy tissue. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and serum from 48 sarcoidosis patients and 15 healthy volunteers were typed for HLA-DRB1*03 and titrated for antibodies to full-length vimentin, vimentin truncations, and total IgG and IgA by ELISA. Presence of extracellular vimentin in BALF was determined by mass spectrometry and T-cell populations measured by flow cytometry. Sarcoid lung samples, especially from HLA-DRB1*03+ patients, contained vimentin-rich tertiary lymphoid structures and corresponding BALF was highly enriched for both IgG and IgA anti-vimentin antibody (AVA) titers. Furthermore, sarcoidosis patient BALF AVA concentrations (expressed as arbitrary units per milligram of total immunoglobulin isotype) correlated with the percentage of CD4+ T-cells expressing the Vα2.3/Vβ22 TCR. BALF antibody reactivity to the vimentin N-terminus was most prominent in HCs, whereas reactivity to the C-terminus (VimC-term) was enriched in the sarcoid lung. Specifically, HLA-DRB1*03+ patient BALF contained higher concentrations of anti-VimC-term antibodies than BALF from both HCs and HLA-DRB1*03- patients. Consistent with the lung as a site of AVA production, the concentration of AVAs in BALF was dramatically higher than in matched serum samples. Overall, there was a poor correlation between BALF and serum AVA concentrations. Together, these studies reveal the presence of linked in situ recognition of vimentin by both T- and B-cells in HLA-DRB1*03+ sarcoidosis patients, associated with a selective humoral immune response to the vimentin C-terminus.

KEYWORDS:

HLA-DRB1*03; Löfgren’s syndrome; autoantibodies; bronchoalveolar lavage fluid; sarcoidosis; vimentin

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