Anti-dsDNA Abs are specific diagnostic markers of systemic lupus erythematosus, and are also implicated in kidney pathology. Anti-dsDNA B cells have been shown to be tolerized in nonautoimmune mice. The immunodysregulation that causes these cells to break tolerance is presumably part of the fundamental defects in systemic lupus erythematosus. To explore these mechanisms, we used the chronic graft-versus-host model mediated by MHC class II differences. Induction of chronic graft-vs-host in anti-DNA H chain knockin (3H9.KI) transgenic mice on a nonautoimmune background resulted in specific activation of anti-dsDNA B cells, as evidenced by high titers of soluble Ab in sera and a high frequency (70%) of anti-dsDNA B cell clones recovered as hybridomas. In addition, the λ+-anti-dsDNA B cells developed increased expression of cell surface activation markers, and concentrated in the T cell area of the follicle with an Ab-forming cell-compatible phenotype. Genetic analysis of the hybridoma clones showed strong evidence of secondary rearrangements of the L chain associated with anti-dsDNA reactivity. Thus, our study indicates that alloreactive T cell help can break tolerance in a complex manner, involving several events.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy