Objective. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is characterized by the existence of a heterogeneous group of autoantibodies directed against intact nuclear structures, such as nucleosomes. The most prominent of these autoantibodies are those directed against double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) and histones. The majority are of the IgG isotype and show affinity maturation, both of which are known hallmarks of T cell help. Much evidence suggests that the nucleosome is a major candidate autoantigen in SLE. In this study, a novel strategy was used to identify the critical CD4+ T cell autoepitopes in nucleosomes. In addition, peptide-based therapy was then performed in a lupus animal model. Methods. Bone marrow (BM)-derived dendritic cells (DCs) were used to examine the self-T cell responses against nucleosomes and to characterize the T cell epitope(s) of nucleosomes in (NZB X NZW)F1 (BWF1) mice. Results. Several potential auto-T cell epitopes of core histone proteins (H2A, H2B, H3, and H4) were identified. Nucleosome-pulsed BM-derived DCs elicited release of interleukin-4 and interferon-γ, representing a Th0 (i.e., mixed Th1 and Th2) pattern of cytokine production. In addition, intradermal immunization of BWF1 mice with the H3111-130 peptide not only suppressed the level of anti-dsDNA and anti-single-stranded DNA IgG, but also significantly delayed the progress of glomerulonephritis in lupus-prone BWF1 mice. Conclusion. These results will help in understanding how pathogenic autoimmune responses develop in spontaneous SLE. This may potentially open the way to T cell-based immunotherapy for lupus.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Arthritis and Rheumatism|
|State||Published - Oct 2004|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pharmacology (medical)