Tolerance to self-antigens present in apoptotic cells is critical to maintain immune-homeostasis and prevent systemic autoimmunity. However, mechanisms that sustain self-tolerance are poorly understood. Here we show that systemic administration of apoptotic cells to mice induced splenic expression of the tryptophan catabolizing enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO). IDO expression was confined to the splenic marginal zone and was abrogated by depletion of CD169 + cells. Pharmacologic inhibition of IDO skewed the immune response to apoptotic cells, resulting in increased proinflammatory cytokine production and increased effector T-cell responses toward apoptotic cell-associated antigens. Presymptomatic lupus-prone MRL lpr/lpr mice exhibited abnormal elevated IDO expression in the marginal zone and red pulp and inhibition of IDO markedly accelerated disease progression. Moreover, chronic exposure of IDO-deficient mice to apoptotic cells induced a lupus-like disease with serum autoreactivity to double-stranded DNA associated with renal pathology and increased mortality. Thus, IDO limits innate and adaptive immunity to apoptotic self-antigens and IDO-mediated regulation inhibits inflammatory pathology caused by systemic autoimmune disease.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Mar 6 2012|
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