Myasthenia gravis (MG) is the most common disorder affecting the neuromuscular junction (NMJ). MG is frequently caused by autoantibodies against acetylcholine receptor (AChR) and a kinase critical for NMJ formation, MuSK; however, a proportion of MG patients are double-negative for anti-AChR and anti-MuSK antibodies. Recent studies in these subjects have identified autoantibodies against low-density lipoprotein receptor–related protein 4 (LRP4), an agrin receptor also critical for NMJ formation. LRP4 autoantibodies have not previously been implicated in MG pathogenesis. Here we demonstrate that mice immunized with the extracellular domain of LRP4 generated anti-LRP4 antibodies and exhibited MG-associated symptoms, including muscle weakness, reduced compound muscle action potentials (CMAPs), and compromised neuromuscular transmission. Additionally, fragmented and distorted NMJs were evident at both the light microscopic and electron microscopic levels. We found that anti-LRP4 sera decreased cell surface LRP4 levels, inhibited agrin-induced MuSK activation and AChR clustering, and activated complements, revealing potential pathophysiological mechanisms. To further confirm the pathogenicity of LRP4 antibodies, we transferred IgGs purified from LRP4-immunized rabbits into naive mice and found that they exhibited MG-like symptoms, including reduced CMAP and impaired neuromuscular transmission. Together, these data demonstrate that LRP4 autoantibodies induce MG and that LRP4 contributes to NMJ maintenance in adulthood.
Chengyong Shen, Yisheng Lu, Bin Zhang, Dwight Figueiredo, Jonathan Bean, Jiung Jung, Haitao Wu, Arnab Barik, Dong-Min Yin, Wen-Cheng Xiong, Lin Mei
Common variable immune deficiency (CVID) is an assorted group of primary diseases that clinically manifest with antibody deficiency, infection susceptibility, and autoimmunity. Heterozygous mutations in the gene encoding the tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily member TACI are associated with CVID and autoimmune manifestations, whereas two mutated alleles prevent autoimmunity. To assess how the number of
Neil Romberg, Nicolas Chamberlain, David Saadoun, Maurizio Gentile, Tuure Kinnunen, Yen Shing Ng, Manmeet Virdee, Laurence Menard, Tineke Cantaert, Henner Morbach, Rima Rachid, Natalia Martinez-Pomar, Nuria Matamoros, Raif Geha, Bodo Grimbacher, Andrea Cerutti, Charlotte Cunningham-Rundles, Eric Meffre
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a genetically mediated autoimmune disease of the central nervous system. B cells have recently emerged as major contributors to disease pathogenesis, but the mechanisms responsible for the loss of B cell tolerance in patients with MS are largely unknown. In healthy individuals, developing autoreactive B cells are removed from the repertoire at 2 tolerance checkpoints during early B cell development. Both of these central and peripheral B cell tolerance checkpoints are defective in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and type 1 diabetes (T1D). Here, we found that only the peripheral, but not the central, B cell tolerance checkpoint is defective in patients with MS. We show that this specific defect is accompanied by increased activation and homeostatic proliferation of mature naive B cells. Interestingly, all of these MS features parallel defects observed in FOXP3-deficient IPEX patients, who harbor nonfunctional Tregs. We demonstrate that in contrast to patients with RA or T1D, bone marrow central B cell selection in MS appears normal in most patients. In contrast, patients with MS suffer from a specific peripheral B cell tolerance defect that is potentially attributable to impaired Treg function and that leads to the accumulation of autoreactive B cell clones in their blood.
Tuure Kinnunen, Nicolas Chamberlain, Henner Morbach, Tineke Cantaert, Megan Lynch, Paula Preston-Hurlburt, Kevan C. Herold, David A. Hafler, Kevin C. O’Connor, Eric Meffre
Multiple autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Graves disease, and systemic lupus erythematosus, are associated with an allelic variant of protein tyrosine phosphatase nonreceptor 22 (
Xuezhi Dai, Richard G. James, Tania Habib, Swati Singh, Shaun Jackson, Socheath Khim, Randall T. Moon, Denny Liggitt, Alejandro Wolf-Yadlin, Jane H. Buckner, David J. Rawlings
The ability to selectively inactivate immune cells with immunosuppressants is a much sought-after modality for the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus and autoimmunity in general. Here, we designed and tested a novel nanogel drug delivery vehicle for the immunosuppressant mycophenolic acid (MPA). Treatment with MPA-loaded nanogels increased the median survival time (MST) of lupus-prone NZB/W F1 mice by 3 months with prophylactic use (MST was 50 weeks versus 38 weeks without treatment), and by 2 months when administered after the development of severe renal damage (MST after proteinuria onset was 12.5 weeks versus 4 weeks without treatment). Equivalent and greater doses of MPA administered in buffer were not efficacious. Nanogels had enhanced biodistribution to organs and association with immune cells. CD4-targeted nanogels yielded similar therapeutic results compared with nontargeted formulations, with protection from glomerulonephritis and decreases in IFN-γ–positive CD4 T cells. DCs that internalized nanogels helped mediate immunosuppression, as they had reduced production of inflammatory cytokines such as IFN-γ and IL-12. Our results demonstrate efficacy of nanogel-based lupus therapy and implicate a mechanism by which immunosuppression is enhanced, in part, by the targeting of antigen-presenting cells.
Michael Look, Eric Stern, Qin A. Wang, Leah D. DiPlacido, Michael Kashgarian, Joe Craft, Tarek M. Fahmy
Mice with a DC-specific deletion of the transcriptional repressor B lymphocyte–induced maturation protein-1 (
Sun Jung Kim, Peter K. Gregersen, Betty Diamond
Progressive loss of visual function frequently accompanies demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and is hypothesized to be the result of damage to the axons and soma of neurons. Here, we show that dendritic impairment is also involved in these diseases. Deimination, a posttranslational modification, was reduced in the retinal ganglion cell layer of MS patients and in a transgenic mouse model of MS (ND4 mice). Reduced deimination accompanied a decrease in inner retinal function in ND4 mice, indicating loss of vision. Local restoration of deimination dramatically improved retinal function and elongation of neurites in isolated neurons. Further, neurite length was decreased by downregulation of deimination or siRNA knockdown of the export-binding protein REF, a primary target for deimination in these cells. REF localized to dendrites and bound selective mRNAs and translation machinery to promote protein synthesis. Thus, protein deimination and dendritic outgrowth play key roles in visual function and may be a general feature of demyelinating diseases.
Mabel Enriquez-Algeciras, Di Ding, Fabrizio G. Mastronardi, Robert E. Marc, Vittorio Porciatti, Sanjoy K. Bhattacharya
Primary immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is a disorder caused by autoantibody-mediated platelet destruction and decreased platelet production. Rituximab, a B cell–depleting agent, has become the first-line treatment for ITP; however, patients with refractory disease usually require splenectomy. We identified antibody-secreting cells as the major splenic B cell population that is resistant to rituximab. The phenotype, antibody specificity, and gene expression profile of these cells were characterized and compared to those of antibody-secreting cells from untreated ITP spleens and from healthy tissues. Antiplatelet-specific plasma cells (PC) were detected in the spleens of patients with ITP up to 6 months after rituximab treatment, and the PC population displayed a long-lived program similar to the one of bone marrow PC, thus explaining for most of these patients the absence of response to rituximab and the response to splenectomy. When analyzed by multiplex PCR at the single-cell level, normal splenic PC showed a markedly different gene expression profile, with an intermediate signature, including genes characteristic of both long-lived PC and proliferating plasmablasts. Surprisingly, long-lived PC were not detected in untreated ITP spleens. These results suggest that the milieu generated by B cell depletion promotes the differentiation and settlement of long-lived PC in the spleen.
Matthieu Mahévas, Pauline Patin, François Huetz, Marc Descatoire, Nicolas Cagnard, Christine Bole-Feysot, Simon Le Gallou, Mehdi Khellaf, Olivier Fain, David Boutboul, Lionel Galicier, Mikael Ebbo, Olivier Lambotte, Mohamed Hamidou, Philippe Bierling, Bertrand Godeau, Marc Michel, Jean-Claude Weill, Claude-Agnès Reynaud
Increased osteoclastic bone resorption leads to periarticular erosions and systemic osteoporosis in RA patients. Although a great deal is known about how osteoclasts differentiate from precursors and resorb bone, the identity of an osteoclast precursor (OCP) population in vivo and its regulatory role in RA remains elusive. Here, we report the identification of a CD11b–/loLy6Chi BM population with OCP activity in vitro and in vivo. These cells, which can be distinguished from previously characterized precursors in the myeloid lineage, display features of both M1 and M2 monocytes and expand in inflammatory arthritis models. Surprisingly, in one mouse model of RA (adoptive transfer of SKG arthritis), cotransfer of OCP with SKG CD4+ T cells diminished inflammatory arthritis. Similar to monocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cells (M-MDSCs), OCPs suppressed CD4+ and CD8+ T cell proliferation in vitro through the production of NO. This study identifies a BM myeloid precursor population with osteoclastic and T cell–suppressive activity that is expanded in inflammatory arthritis. Therapeutic strategies that prevent the development of OCPs into mature bone-resorbing cells could simultaneously prevent bone resorption and generate an antiinflammatory milieu in the RA joint.
Julia F. Charles, Lih-Yun Hsu, Erene C. Niemi, Arthur Weiss, Antonios O. Aliprantis, Mary C. Nakamura
Pemphigus vulgaris (PV) is an autoimmune blistering disease of skin and mucous membranes caused by autoantibodies to the desmoglein (DSG) family proteins DSG3 and DSG1, leading to loss of keratinocyte cell adhesion. To learn more about pathogenic PV autoantibodies, we isolated 15 IgG antibodies specific for DSG3 from 2 PV patients. Three antibodies disrupted keratinocyte monolayers in vitro, and 2 were pathogenic in a passive transfer model in neonatal mice. The epitopes recognized by the pathogenic antibodies were mapped to the DSG3 extracellular 1 (EC1) and EC2 subdomains, regions involved in cis-adhesive interactions. Using a site-specific serological assay, we found that the cis-adhesive interface on EC1 recognized by the pathogenic antibody PVA224 is the primary target of the autoantibodies present in the serum of PV patients. The autoantibodies isolated used different heavy- and light-chain variable region genes and carried high levels of somatic mutations in complementary-determining regions, consistent with antigenic selection. Remarkably, binding to DSG3 was lost when somatic mutations were reverted to the germline sequence. These findings identify the cis-adhesive interface of DSG3 as the immunodominant region targeted by pathogenic antibodies in PV and indicate that autoreactivity relies on somatic mutations generated in the response to an antigen unrelated to DSG3.
Giovanni Di Zenzo, Giulia Di Lullo, Davide Corti, Valentina Calabresi, Anna Sinistro, Fabrizia Vanzetta, Biagio Didona, Giuseppe Cianchini, Michael Hertl, Rudiger Eming, Masayuki Amagai, Bungo Ohyama, Takashi Hashimoto, Jerry Sloostra, Federica Sallusto, Giovanna Zambruno, Antonio Lanzavecchia
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