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  • 1.
    Berggren, Olof
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Hagberg, Niklas
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Alexsson, Andrei
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Weber, Gert
    Ernst Moritz Arndt Univ Greifswald, Inst Biochem, Dept Mol Struct Biol, Greifswald, Germany..
    Rönnblom, Lars
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Eloranta, Maija-Leena
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Plasmacytoid dendritic cells and RNA-containing immune complexes drive expansion of peripheral B cell subsets with an SLE-like phenotype2017In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 12, no 8, article id e0183946Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background Hyperactive B cells and a continuous interferon (IFN)-alpha production by plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) play a key role in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). We asked whether the interaction between B cells and pDCs stimulated with RNA-containing immune complexes affects peripheral B cell subsets. Methods B cells and pDCs were isolated from blood of healthy individuals and stimulated with immune complexes consisting of SLE-IgG and U1snRNP (RNA-IC). Expression of cell surface molecules as well as IL-6 and IL-10 production were determined by flow cytometry and immunoassays. Gene expression profiles were determined by a NanoString nCounter expression array. Results We found a remarkable increase of double negative CD27-IgD-B cells, from 7% within fresh CD19+B cells to 37% in the RNA-IC-stimulated co-cultures of B cells and pDCs, comparable to the frequency of double negative B cells in SLE patients. Gene expression analysis of the double negative CD27-IgD -and the CD27 + IgD-memory B cells revealed that twenty-one genes were differentially expressed between the two B cell subsets (>= 2-fold, p< 0.001). The, IL21R, IL4R, CCL4, CCL3, CD83 and the IKAROS Family Zinc Finger 2 (IKZ2) showed higher expression in the double negative CD27-IgD-B cells. Conclusion The interactions between B cells and pDCs together with RNA-containing IC led to an expansion of B cells with similar phenotype as seen in SLE, suggesting that the pDC-B cell crosstalk contributes to the autoimmune feed-forward loop in SLE.

  • 2.
    Berggren, Olof
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Hagberg, Niklas
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Weber, Gert
    Alm, Gunnar V
    Rönnblom, Lars
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Eloranta, Maija-Leena
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    B lymphocytes enhance the interferon-α production by plasmacytoid dendritic cells2012In: Arthritis and Rheumatism, ISSN 0004-3591, E-ISSN 1529-0131, Vol. 64, no 10, p. 3409-3419Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    OBJECTIVE:

    Type I interferon (IFN) system and B cells are activated in many autoimmune diseases, e.g. systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). IFNα produced by plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC) stimulate several B cell functions, including autoantibody production. However, not much is known how B cells influence the pDC function. We therefore investigated the regulatory effect of B cells on IFNα production by pDC.

    METHODS:

    PDC and B cells from healthy blood donor PBMC were stimulated with RNA-containing immune complexes (RNA-IC) consisting of U1 snRNP and IgG from SLE patients, herpes simplex virus (HSV) or oligonucleotide ODN2216, alone or in co-cultures. IFNα, several other cytokines and pDC or B cell-associated surface molecules were analyzed by immunoassays or flow cytometry.

    RESULTS:

    B cells enhanced the IFNα production by pDC up to 47-fold, and the effect was most pronounced for pDC stimulated with RNA-IC. Anti-CD31 antibody reduced the RNA-IC-induced IFNα production by 80%, but not when ODN2216 was used as IFN-inducer. Supernatants from ODN2216-stimulated B cells promoted IFNα production by pDC, while supernatants from RNA-IC-stimulated B cells did not.

    CONCLUSION:

    Our results reveal a novel B cell function, enhancing the type I IFN production by pDC. Since B cells are activated by type I IFN, this pDC-B cell cross-talk might be of fundamental importance in the etiopathogenesis of SLE, and contribute to a chronic immune activation in SLE and other systemic rheumatic diseases.

  • 3.
    Hagberg, Niklas
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    The Role of Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells and Natural Killer Cells in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus2014Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease characterized by autoantibody production, which can eventually lead to immune complex (IC)-mediated organ damage. Due to the stimulation of plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC) by nucleic acid-containing ICs (DNA- or RNA-IC), patients with SLE have an ongoing interferon (IFN)-α production. IFN-α induces a general activation of the immune system that may initiate or propagate an autoimmune process if not properly regulated. Previous studies have shown that natural killer (NK) cells potently enhance the IFN-α production by pDCs.

    In study I, the mechanisms behind the NK cell-mediated increased IFN-α production by RNA-IC-stimulated pDCs were investigated. ICs triggered CD56dim NK cells via FcγRIIIA to the secretion of cytokines (e.g. MIP-1β) that promoted IFN-α production. Additionally, an LFA-1-dependent cell-cell interaction between pDCs and NK cells strongly contributed to the increased production of IFN-α. In study II, the RNA-IC-induced regulation of surface molecules on pDCs and NK cells was investigated. The expression of CD319 and CD229, which are two SLAM family receptors genetically associated with SLE, was induced on pDCs and NK cells by RNA-IC. IFN-α-producing pDCs displayed an increased expression of CD319 and CD229, whereas pDCs from patients with SLE had a decreased expression of CD319. In study III, we serendipitously identified an SLE patient harboring autoantibodies to the NK cell receptor CD94/NKG2A. In study IV, sera from 203 patients with SLE were analyzed for autoantibodies to the CD94/NKG2A, CD94/NKG2C and NKG2D receptors. Seven patients harbored anti-CD94/NKG2A autoantibodies, and two of these patient’s autoantibodies also reacted with CD94/NKG2C. Anti-CD94/NKG2A and anti-CD94/NKG2C autoantibodies both interfered with the HLA-E-mediated regulation of NK cell cytotoxicity, and facilitated the elimination of target cells expressing these receptors. Furthermore, these autoantibodies were found in a group of severely diseased SLE patients and their titers closely followed disease activity.

    In conclusion, this thesis provides insights to molecular mechanisms whereby NK cells regulate the IFN-α production, it further links the SLAM receptors to SLE, and it describes novel autoantibodies to receptors regulating NK cell cytotoxicity. Together these findings strengthen the assumption that NK cells are involved in the pathogenesis of SLE.

  • 4.
    Hagberg, Niklas
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences.
    Berggren, Olof
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences.
    Leonard, Dag
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences.
    Weber, Gert
    Bryceson, Yenan T.
    Alm, Gunnar V.
    Eloranta, Maija-Leena
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences.
    Rönnblom, Lars
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences.
    IFN-α Production by Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells Stimulated with RNA-Containing Immune Complexes Is Promoted by NK Cells via MIP-1β and LFA-12011In: Journal of Immunology, ISSN 0022-1767, E-ISSN 1550-6606, Vol. 186, no 9, p. 5085-5094Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Several systemic autoimmune diseases display a prominent IFN signature. This is caused by a continuous IFN-α production by plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs), which are activated by immune complexes (ICs) containing nucleic acid. The IFN-α production by pDCs stimulated with RNA-containing IC (RNA-IC) consisting of anti-RNP autoantibodies and U1 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particles was recently shown to be inhibited by monocytes, but enhanced by NK cells. The inhibitory effect of monocytes was mediated by TNF-α, PGE2, and reactive oxygen species, but the mechanisms for the NK cell-mediated increase in IFN-α production remained unclear. In this study, we investigated the mechanisms whereby NK cells increase the RNA-IC–induced IFN-α production by pDCs. Furthermore, NK cells from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) were evaluated for their capacity to promote IFN-α production. We found that CD56dim NK cells could increase IFN-α production >1000-fold after RNA-IC activation, whereas CD56bright NK cells required costimulation by IL-12 and IL-18 to promote IFN-α production. NK cells produced MIP-1α, MIP-1β, RANTES, IFN-γ, and TNF-α via RNA-IC–mediated FcγRIIIA activation. The IFN-α production in pDCs was promoted by NK cells via MIP-1β secretion and LFA-mediated cell–cell contact. Moreover, NK cells from SLE patients displayed a reduced capacity to promote the RNA-IC–induced IFN-α production, which could be restored by exogenous IL-12 and IL-18. Thus, different molecular mechanisms can mediate the NK cell-dependent increase in IFN-α production by RNA-IC–stimulated pDCs, and our study suggests that the possibility to therapeutically target the NK–pDC axis in IFN-α–driven autoimmune diseases such as SLE should be investigated.

  • 5.
    Hagberg, Niklas
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Joelsson, Martin
    Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Leonard, Dag
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Reid, Sarah
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Eloranta, Maija-Leena
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Mo, John
    AstraZeneca, Resp Inflammat & Autoimmun, IMED Biotech Unit, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Nilsson, Magnus K.
    AstraZeneca, Resp Inflammat & Autoimmun, IMED Biotech Unit, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Syvänen, Ann-Christine
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Molecular Medicine. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Bryceson, Yenan T.
    Karolinska Inst, Dept Med, Ctr Hematol & Regenerat Med, Karolinska Univ Hosp Huddinge, Stockholm, Sweden;Univ Bergen, Dept Clin Sci, Broegelmann Res Lab, Bergen, Norway.
    Rönnblom, Lars
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    The STAT4 SLE risk allele rs7574865[T] is associated with increased IL-12-induced IFN-γ production in T cells from patients with SLE2018In: Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, ISSN 0003-4967, E-ISSN 1468-2060, Vol. 77, no 7, p. 1070-1077Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objectives Genetic variants in the transcription factor STAT4 are associated with increased susceptibility to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and a more severe disease phenotype. This study aimed to clarify how the SLE-associated intronic STAT4 risk allele rs7574865[T] affects the function of immune cells in SLE.

    Methods Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were isolated from 52 genotyped patients with SLE. Phosphorylation of STAT4 (pSTAT4) and STAT1 (pSTAT1) in response to interferon (IFN)-α, IFN-γ or interleukin (IL)-12, total levels of STAT4, STAT1 and T-bet, and frequency of IFN-γ+ cells on IL-12 stimulation were determined by flow cytometry in subsets of immune cells before and after preactivation of cells with phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) and IL-2. Cellular responses and phenotypes were correlated to STAT4 risk allele carriership. Janus kinase inhibitors (JAKi) selective for TYK2 (TYK2i) or JAK2 (JAK2i) were evaluated for inhibition of IL-12 or IFN-γ-induced activation of SLE PBMCs.

    Results In resting PBMCs, the STAT4 risk allele was neither associated with total levels of STAT4 or STAT1, nor cytokine-induced pSTAT4 or pSTAT1. Following PHA/IL-2 activation, CD8+ T cells from STAT4 risk allele carriers displayed increased levels of STAT4 resulting in increased pSTAT4 in response to IL-12 and IFN-α, and an augmented IL-12-induced IFN-γ production in CD8+ and CD4+ T cells. The TYK2i and the JAK2i efficiently blocked IL-12 and IFN-γ-induced activation of PBMCs from STAT4 risk patients, respectively.

    Conclusions T cells from patients with SLE carrying the STAT4 risk allele rs7574865[T] display an augmented response to IL-12 and IFN-α. This subset of patients may benefit from JAKi treatment.

  • 6.
    Hagberg, Niklas
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Rönnblom, Lars
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Interferon-α enhances the IL-12-induced STAT4 activation selectively in carriers of the STAT4 SLE risk allele rs7574865[T]2019In: Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, ISSN 0003-4967, E-ISSN 1468-2060, Vol. 78, no 3, p. 429-431Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 7.
    Hagberg, Niklas
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Rönnblom, Lars
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Systemic lupus erythematosus: a disease with a dysregulated type I interferon system2015In: Scandinavian Journal of Immunology, ISSN 0300-9475, E-ISSN 1365-3083, Vol. 82, no 3, p. 199-207Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a complex systemic autoimmune disease characterized by the loss of tolerance to nuclear antigens, immune complex formation and inflammation in multiple organs. The disease is very heterogeneous and most clinicians consider SLE as a group of diseases with similar features where the pathogenesis is driven by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. One of the most prominent features, shared by the majority of SLE patients, is a continuous activation of the type I interferon (IFN) system, which manifests as increased serum levels of IFNα and/or an increased expression of type I IFN induced genes, a so called type I IFN-signature. The mechanisms behind this IFN-signature have partly been clarified during recent years, although the exact function of the IFN regulated genes in the disease process is unclear. In this review we will describe the type I IFN system and its regulation and summarize the numerous findings implicating an important ethiopathogenic role of a dysregulated type I IFN system in SLE. Furthermore, strategies to therapeutically target the type I IFN system that are currently evaluated preclinically and in clinical trials will be mentioned.

  • 8.
    Hagberg, Niklas
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Rönnblom, Lars
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    The Interferon System in Lupus Erythematosus2016In: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: Basic, Applied and Clinical Aspects / [ed] George C. Tsokos, Academic Press, 2016, p. 153-158Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The interferons (IFNs) are a large group of proteins classified into three types (I-III) that induce viral resistance in cells and also act as immune adjuvants and stimulate the adaptive immune system. Increased levels of mainly type I IFN are seen in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), which is due to the presence of self-derived inducers of type I IFN production acting on plasmacytoid dendritic cells. Such inducers consist of autoantigens containing nucleic acid that stimulate endosomal Toll-like receptors, which trigger the ongoing IFN synthesis that leads to an increased transcription of type I IFN-regulated genes in target cells (an interferon signature). The type I IFN production contributes to the autoimmune process and several therapies aiming to inhibit the production, or action, of type I IFN have been developed. Preliminary results indicate that this therapeutic strategy may be successful in a subset of patients with SLE.

  • 9.
    Hagberg, Niklas
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Theorell, Jakob
    Alm, Gunnar V.
    Eloranta, Maija-Leena
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Bryceson, Yenan
    Ronnblom, Lars
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Immune Complexes Upregulate the Expression of CD319 and CD229 On Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells2012In: Arthritis and Rheumatism, ISSN 0004-3591, E-ISSN 1529-0131, Vol. 64, no s10, p. S368-S369Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 10.
    Hagberg, Niklas
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences.
    Theorell, Jakob
    Alm, Gunnar V.
    Eloranta, Maija-Leena
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences.
    Bryceson, Yenan
    Rönnblom, Lars
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences.
    SLE immune complexes upregulate the expression of slamf7 (cd319) on plasmacytoid dendritic cells2012In: Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, ISSN 0003-4967, E-ISSN 1468-2060, Vol. 71, p. A3-A3Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 11.
    Hagberg, Niklas
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Theorell, Jakob
    Eloranta, Maija-Leena
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Pascal, Veronique
    Bryceson, Yenan T
    Rönnblom, Lars
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Anti-NKG2A autoantibodies in a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus2013In: Rheumatology, ISSN 1462-0324, E-ISSN 1462-0332, Vol. 52, no 10, p. 1818-1823Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objectives

    To characterize a novel anti-NKG2A autoantibody detected in a patient with SLE during a severe flare, and in a cross-sectional study investigate the occurrence of such autoantibodies in patients with SLE and primary SS (pSS).

    Methods

    Serum or IgG from patients with SLE, pSS and healthy volunteers were assayed for blocking of anti-NKG2A or HLA-E binding to peripheral blood mononuclear cells or CD94/NKG2A- and CD94/NKG2C-transfected Ba/F3 cells. The anti-NKG2A autoantibodies were evaluated for effect on NK cell degranulation in response to HLA-E-transfected K562 cells. IFN-α was determined by an immunoassay and disease activity by the SLEDAI score.

    Results

    Anti-NKG2A autoantibodies, which blocked binding of HLA-E tetramers to CD94/NKG2A-transfected cells and impaired NKG2A-mediated inhibition of NK cell activation, were observed in a patient with SLE. The presence of anti-NKG2A autoantibodies was associated with high SLE disease activity (SLEDAI score 14 and 16) and increased serum IFN-α. Of 94 SLE, 60 pSS and 30 healthy donor sera, only the index patient serum contained anti-NKG2A autoantibodies.

    Conclusion

    The presence of autoantibodies targeting NKG2A is a rare event, but when such autoantibodies occur they may promote excessive NK cell function. This can contribute to the pathogenesis by increasing the killing of cells and the release of autoantigens. Our findings highlight the possible importance of NK cells in the SLE disease process.

  • 12.
    Hagberg, Niklas
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology. niklas.hagberg@medsci.uu.se.
    Theorell, Jakob
    Hjorton, Karin
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Eloranta, Maija-Leena
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Bryceson, Yenan
    Rönnblom, Lars
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Autoantibodies to the CD94/NKG2A and CD94/NKG2C receptors in patients with systemic lupus erythematosusManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Objectives: To investigate the occurrence and function of autoantibodies (autoabs) targeting the CD94/NKG2A, CD94/NKG2C or NKG2D receptors in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

    Method: Murine Ba/F3 cells transfected with CD94/NKG2A, CD94/NKG2C or NKG2D, and untransfected cells were incubated with sera from 203 patients with SLE and 90 healthy individuals. Binding of immunoglobulin (Ig) to the cells was determined by flow cytometry. Autoabs were characterized with regard to isotype, subclass, λ/κ exclusion and interference with HLA-E-binding. IgG were evaluated for effect on NK cell degranulation in response to HLA-E-transfected K562 target cells, as well as their capacity to induce antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC). The frequency and phenotype of NK cells from these patients were determined by flow cytometry and the exons encoding NKG2A (KLRC1), NKG2C (KLRC2) and CD94 (KLRD1) were sequenced. The titers of anti-CD94/NKG2A and -CD94/NKG2C autoabs were determined in longitudinally sampled sera and correlated to disease activity (SLEDAI score) and severity (SLICC/ACR damage index).

    Results: Seven patients with autoabs targeting the CD94/NKG2A receptor were identified. Two of these patients’ autoabs also recognized the CD94/NKG2C receptor. IgG from six of the patients interfered with the binding of HLA-E to CD94/NKG2A, whereas IgG from one patient increased this binding. Of the two patients with anti-CD94/NKG2C autoabs, IgG from one patient blocked, and IgG from the other patient stabilized the binding of HLA-E to CD94/NKG2C. Anti-CD94/NKG2A autoabs abrogated the HLA-E-mediated inhibition of NK cell cytotoxicity by CD94/NKG2A+ NK cells, whereas anti-CD94/NKG2C autoabs interfered with the HLA-E-mediated increased cytotoxicity of CD94/NKG2C+ NK cells. Furthermore, these autoabs induced ADCC of CD94/NKG2A- and CD94/NKG2C-expressing target cells. No uncommon non-synonymous sequence variations were found in the genes encoding NKG2A, NKG2C or CD94.  The titers of anti-CD94/NKG2A and -CD94/NKG2C autoabs were associated to the SLEDAI score.

    Conclusions: Autoabs targeting the CD94/NKG2A or the CD94/NKG2C receptor are found in a subset of patients with SLE. These autoabs affects the cytotoxicity of NK cells, mediate ADCC in vitro and their titers are associated to the disease activity and a more severe SLE phenotype. Consequently, anti-CD94/NKG2A and anti-CD94/NKG2C autoabs may contribute to the pathogenesis of SLE and our findings highlight the possible importance of NK cells in the SLE disease process.

  • 13.
    Hagberg, Niklas
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Theorell, Jakob
    Hjorton, Karin
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Spee, Pieter
    Eloranta, Maija-Leena
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Bryceson, Yenan T.
    Rönnblom, Lars
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Functional Anti-CD94/NKG2A and Anti-CD94/NKG2C Autoantibodies in Patients With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus2015In: ARTHRITIS & RHEUMATOLOGY, ISSN 2326-5191, Vol. 67, no 4, p. 1000-1011Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective. Recently we serendipitously identified a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) who was positive for autoantibodies to CD94/natural killer receptor group 2A (NKG2A). The present study was undertaken to investigate the occurrence and function of autoantibodies targeting lectin-like NK cell receptors in SLE. Methods. Sera from 203 SLE patients and 90 healthy individuals were analyzed, by flow cytometry, for Ig binding to Ba/F3 cells transfected with CD94/NKG2A, CD94/NKG2C, or NKG2D. Autoantibodies identified were characterized with regard to interference with HLA-E binding, effect on NK cell activation in response to HLA-E-transfected K562 cells, and capacity to facilitate antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC). Levels of autoantibodies were determined in longitudinally sampled sera, and correlations with disease activity (SLE Disease Activity Index 2000) and severity (Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics/American College of Rheumatology Damage Index) were investigated. Results. Anti-CD94/NKG2A autoantibodies were identified in 7 SLE patients. The autoantibodies from 6 patients inhibited binding of HLA-E to CD94/NKG2A, whereas those from the seventh patient augmented this binding. Autoantibodies from 2 patients also reacted with the activating receptor CD94/NKG2C, with inhibition of the binding of HLA-E to CD94/NKG2C observed in 1 case and enhancement of this binding in the other. None of the sera contained anti-NKG2D autoantibodies. The levels of anti-CD94/NKG2A and anti-CD94/NKG2C autoantibodies correlated with disease activity and with a more severe SLE phenotype. Mechanistically, anti-CD94/NKG2A and anti-CD94/NKG2C autoantibodies both interfered with HLA-E-mediated regulation of NK cell activation and facilitated the elimination of target cells expressing CD94/NKG2A or CD94/NKG2C through ADCC. Conclusion. Anti-CD94/NKG2A and anti-CD94/NKG2C autoantibodies occur in a subset of patients with clinically active SLE. Given their capacity to deplete certain NK cell subsets and interfere with particular NK cell function, such autoantibodies may promote the pathogenesis of SLE.

  • 14.
    Hagberg, Niklas
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Theorell, Jakob
    Schlums, Heinrich
    Eloranta, Maija-Leena
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Bryceson, Yenan T.
    Rönnblom, Lars
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Immune Complexes Increase the Expression of SLAM Family Members CD319 (CRACC) and CD229 (LY-9) on Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells and CD319 on CD56(dim) NK Cells2013In: Journal of Immunology, ISSN 0022-1767, E-ISSN 1550-6606, Vol. 191, no 6, p. 2989-2998Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) display an activated type I IFN system due to unceasing IFN-a release from plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) stimulated by nucleic acid-containing immune complexes (ICs). NK cells strongly promote the IFN-a production by pDCs; therefore, we investigated surface molecules that could be involved in the pDC-NK cell cross-talk. In human PBMCs stimulated with RNA-containing ICs (RNA-ICs), the expression of the signaling lymphocyte activation molecule (SLAM) family receptors CD319 and CD229 on pDCs and CD319 on CD56(dim) NK cells was selectively increased. Upregulation of CD319 and CD229 on RNA-IC-stimulated pDCs was induced by NK cells or cytokines (e. g., GM-CSF, IL-3). IFN-alpha-producing pDCs displayed a higher expression of SLAM molecules compared with IFN-a 2 pDCs. With regard to signaling downstream of SLAM receptors, pDCs expressed SHIP-1, SHP-1, SHP-2, and CSK but lacked SLAM-associated protein (SAP) and Ewing's sarcoma-activated transcript 2 (EAT2), indicating that these receptors may act as inhibitory receptors on pDCs. Furthermore, pDCs from patients with SLE had decreased expression of CD319 on pDCs and CD229 on CD56 dim NK cells, but RNA-IC stimulation increased CD319 and CD229 expression. In conclusion, this study reveals that the expression of the SLAM receptors CD319 and CD229 is regulated on pDCs and NK cells by lupus ICs and that the expression of these receptors is specifically altered in SLE. These results, together with the observed genetic association between the SLAM locus and SLE, suggest a role for CD319 and CD229 in the SLE disease process.

  • 15.
    Hjorton, Karin
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Hagberg, Niklas
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Berggren, Olof
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Mo, J.
    AstraZeneca R&D, Mölndal, Sweden.
    Sandling, Johanna K.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Eloranta, Maija-Leena
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Rönnblom, Lars
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    The Effect of Hydroxychloroquine and IRAK4 Inhibition on The IFN-A and TNF-A Production Induced by Sle Related Immune Complexes2016In: Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, ISSN 0003-4967, E-ISSN 1468-2060, Vol. 75, p. 277-277Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 16.
    Hjorton, Karin
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Hagberg, Niklas
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Israelsson, E.
    AstraZeneca, Innovat Med & Early Dev Biotech Unit, Biosci Resp Inflammat & Autoimmun, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Berggren, Olof
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Sandling, Johanna K.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Thorn, K.
    AstraZeneca, Innovat Med & Early Dev Biotech Unit, Biosci Resp Inflammat & Autoimmun, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Mo, J.
    AstraZeneca, Innovat Med & Early Dev Biotech Unit, Biosci Resp Inflammat & Autoimmun, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Eloranta, M. -L
    Rönnblom, Lars
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Cytokine production by activated plasmacytoid dendritic cells and NK cells is suppressed by an IRAK4 inhibitor2018In: Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, ISSN 0003-4967, E-ISSN 1468-2060, Vol. 77, p. 1268-1269Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 17.
    Hjorton, Karin
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Hagberg, Niklas
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Israelsson, Elisabeth
    AstraZeneca, IMED Biotech Unit, Resp Inflammat & Autoimmun, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Jinton, Lisa
    AstraZeneca, IMED Biotech Unit, Resp Inflammat & Autoimmun, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Berggren, Olof
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Sandling, Johanna K.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Thörn, Kristofer
    AstraZeneca, IMED Biotech Unit, Resp Inflammat & Autoimmun, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Mo, John
    AstraZeneca, IMED Biotech Unit, Resp Inflammat & Autoimmun, Gothenburg, Sweden.
    Eloranta, Maija-Leena
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab. SciLifeLaboratory.
    Rönnblom, Lars
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Cytokine production by activated plasmacytoid dendritic cells and natural killer cells is suppressed by an IRAK4 inhibitor2018In: Arthritis Research & Therapy, ISSN 1478-6354, E-ISSN 1478-6362, Vol. 20, article id 238Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: In systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), immune complexes (ICs) containing self-derived nucleic acids trigger the synthesis of proinflammatory cytokines by immune cells. We asked how an interleukin (IL)-1 receptor-associated kinase 4 small molecule inhibitor (IRAK4i) affects RNA-IC-induced cytokine production compared with hydroxychloroquine (HCQ).

    Methods: Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) and natural killer (NK) cells were isolated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of healthy individuals. PBMCs from SLE patients and healthy individuals were depleted of monocytes. Cells were stimulated with RNA-containing IC (RNA-IC) in the presence or absence of IRAK4i I92 or HCQ, and cytokines were measured by immunoassay or flow cytometry. Transcriptome sequencing was performed on RNA-IC-stimulated pDCs from healthy individuals to assess the effect of IRAK4i and HCQ.

    Results: In healthy individuals, RNA-IC induced interferon (IFN)-α, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, IL-6, IL-8, IFN-γ, macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)1-α, and MIP1-β production in pDC and NK cell cocultures. IFN-α production was selective for pDCs, whereas both pDCs and NK cells produced TNF-α. IRAK4i reduced the pDC and NK cell-derived cytokine production by 74–95%. HCQ interfered with cytokine production in pDCs but not in NK cells. In monocyte-depleted PBMCs, IRAK4i blocked cytokine production more efficiently than HCQ. Following RNA-IC activation of pDCs, 975 differentially expressed genes were observed (false discovery rate (FDR) < 0.05), with many connected to cytokine pathways, cell regulation, and apoptosis. IRAK4i altered the expression of a larger number of RNA-IC-induced genes than did HCQ (492 versus 65 genes).

    Conclusions: The IRAK4i I92 exhibits a broader inhibitory effect than HCQ on proinflammatory pathways triggered by RNA-IC, suggesting IRAK4 inhibition as a therapeutic option in SLE.

  • 18. Leonard, Dag
    et al.
    Eloranta, Maija-Leena
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Hagberg, Niklas
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Berggren, Olof
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Tandre, Karolina
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Alm, G.
    Rönnblom, Lars
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Activated T cells enhance interferon-alpha production by plasmacytoid dendritic cells stimulated by RNA-containing immune complexes2014In: Scandinavian Journal of Rheumatology, ISSN 0300-9742, E-ISSN 1502-7732, Vol. 43, no S127, p. 88-89Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 19.
    Leonard, Dag
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Eloranta, Maija-Leena
    Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Hagberg, Niklas
    Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Berggren, Olof
    Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Tandre, Karolina
    Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Alm, Gunnar
    Rönnblom, Lars
    Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab. Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Activated SLE-T Cells Enhance the Interferon-Alpha Production By Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells Stimulated By RNA-IC2014In: Arthritis & Rheumatology, ISSN 2326-5191, Vol. 66, no S10, p. S1173-S1173, article id 2681Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 20.
    Leonard, Dag
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences.
    Eloranta, Maija-Leena
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Hagberg, Niklas
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Berggren, Olof
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Tandre, Karolina
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Alm, Gunnar
    Rönnblom, Lars
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Activated T cells enhance interferon-alpha production by plasmacytoid dendritic cells stimulated by RNA-containing immune complexesManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 21.
    Segerberg, Filip
    et al.
    Karolinska Inst, Ctr Haematol & Regenerat Med, Dept Med, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Lundtoft, Christian
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Reid, Sarah
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Hjorton, Karin
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Leonard, Dag
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Nordmark, Gunnel
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab.
    Carlsten, Mattias
    Karolinska Inst, Ctr Haematol & Regenerat Med, Dept Med, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Hagberg, Niklas
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology. Uppsala University, Science for Life Laboratory, SciLifeLab. Uppsala Univ, Dept Med Sci, Rheumatol & Sci Life Labs, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Autoantibodies to Killer Cell Immunoglobulin-Like Receptors in Patients With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Induce Natural Killer Cell Hyporesponsiveness2019In: Frontiers in Immunology, ISSN 1664-3224, E-ISSN 1664-3224, Vol. 10, article id 2164Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Natural killer (NK) cell cytotoxicity toward self-cells is restrained by the inhibitory HLA class I-binding receptors CD94/NKG2A and the killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs). CD94/NKG2A and KIRs are also essential for NK cell education, which is a dynamic functional maturation process where a constitutive binding of inhibitory receptors to cognate HLA class I molecules is required for NK cells to maintain their full cytotoxic capacity. Previously, we described autoantibodies to CD94/NKG2A in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). In this study we analyzed sera from 191 patients with SLE, 119 patients with primary Sjogren's syndrome (pSS), 48 patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc), and 100 healthy donors (HD) for autoantibodies to eight different KIRs. Anti-KIR autoantibodies were identified in sera from 23.0% of patients with SLE, 10.9% of patients with pSS, 12.5% of patients with SSc, and 3.0% of HD. IgG from anti-KIR-positive SLE patients reduced the degranulation and cytotoxicity of NK cells toward K562 tumor cells. The presence of anti-KIR-autoantibodies reacting with >3 KIRs was associated with an increased disease activity (p < 0.0001), elevated serum levels of IFN-alpha (p < 0.0001), nephritis (p = 0.001), and the presence of anti-Sm (p = 0.007), and anti-RNP (p = 0.003) autoantibodies in serum. Together these findings suggest that anti-KIR autoantibodies may contribute to the reduced function of NK cells in SLE patients, and that a defective NK cell function may be a risk factor for the development of lupus nephritis.

  • 22.
    Wang, Chuan
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Molecular Medicine.
    Sandling, Johanna K
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Molecular Medicine.
    Hagberg, Niklas
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Berggren, Olof
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Sigurdsson, Snaevar
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Molecular Medicine.
    Karlberg, Olof
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Molecular Medicine.
    Rönnblom, Lars
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Eloranta, Maija-Leena
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Rheumatology.
    Syvänen, Ann-Christine
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Molecular Medicine.
    Genome-wide profiling of target genes for the systemic lupus erythematosus-associated transcription factors IRF5 and STAT42013In: Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, ISSN 0003-4967, E-ISSN 1468-2060, Vol. 72, no 1, p. 96-103Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND:

    The transcription factors interferon regulatory factor 5 (IRF5) and signal transducer and activator of transcription 4 (STAT4) are encoded by two of the strongest susceptibility genes for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

    OBJECTIVE:

    To investigate the target genes and functional roles of IRF5 and STAT4 in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs).

    METHODS:

    Chromatin immunoprecipitation-sequencing (ChIP-seq) was performed in PBMCs stimulated to activate IRF5 and STAT4. The expression of the target genes of IRF5 and STAT4 was investigated in a publicly available dataset generated from PBMCs from patients with SLE and healthy controls. The genomic regions bound by the transcription complexes mediated by IRF5 and STAT4 were examined for transcription factor binding motifs and SLE-associated sequence variants.

    RESULTS:

    More than 7000 target genes for IRF5 and STAT4 were identified in stimulated PBMCs. These genes were enriched to functional pathways in the type I interferon system, and have key roles in the inflammatory response. The expression patterns of the target genes were characteristic for patients with SLE. The transcription factors high mobility group-I/Y, specificity protein 1, and paired box 4 may function cooperatively with IRF5 and STAT4 in transcriptional regulation. Eight of the target regions for IRF5 and STAT4 contain SLE-associated sequence variants.

    CONCLUSIONS:

    By participating in transcription complex with other co-factors, IRF5 and STAT4 harbour the potential of regulating a large number of target genes, which may contribute to their strong association with SLE.

1 - 22 of 22
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