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Arthritis Rheumatol. 2018 Jul 29. doi: 10.1002/art.40682. [Epub ahead of print]

SLAMF1 engagement inhibits T cell-B cell interaction and diminishes IL-6 production and plasmablast differentiation in systemic lupus erythematosus.

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Division of Rheumatology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
Division of Immunology and Allergy, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Rue du Bugnon 46, CH, 1011, Lausanne, Switzerland.



SLAMF1 homophilic interactions promote immunoglobulin production and T cell-B cell (T-B) cross-talk. SLAMF1 is overexpressed on T and B cells in patients with SLE. We conducted studies to determine the role of SLAMF1 monoclonal antibody in modulating T-B cell interaction and B cell activation.


Anti-IgM pre-stimulated naïve or total B cells from healthy donors or patients with SLE were co-cultured with autologous T cells under CD3/CD28 stimulation in the presence or absence of SLAMF1 monoclonal antibody. Naïve B cells were stimulated with anti-IgM and CD40L in the presence of SLAMF1 antibody. Cytokine production by CD4+ T cells and B cells was examined by flow cytometry and/or qPCR. Plasmablast formation and T-B conjugates were assessed by flow cytometry. IgG and ANA production was determined by ELISA.


SLAMF1 ligation in a human peripheral blood T-B cell culture system reduces conjugate formation, IL-6 production by B cells, IL-21 and IL-17A by T cells, Ig and autoantibody production in both healthy controls and patients with SLE. Whereas the SLAMF1 monoclonal antibody affects directly the function of isolated peripheral B cells by decreasing IL-6 and Ig production in vitro, it does not affect stimulation and cytokine production by isolated T cells stimulated in vitro.


SLAMF1 antibody inhibits T-B cell interaction and suppresses B cell cytokine production and differentiation and therefore it represents a therapeutic tool in the treatment of patients with SLE. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.


SLE ; B cells; IL-6; SLAMF1; autoimmunity


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