Regulation of Type I Interferon Production in Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells Effect of Genetic Factors and Interactions with NK Cells and B Cells
Sammanfattning: The type I interferon (IFN) system plays a central role in the etiopathogenesis of many autoimmune diseases, e.g. systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Activation of the type I IFN system in SLE is promoted by endogenous nucleic acid-containing immune complexes (ICs) which stimulate plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs). This thesis focuses on the regulation of IFN-? production in pDCs, by interactions with B cells and natural killer (NK) cells, and by genetic factors.In Study I, RNA-IC-stimulated CD56dim NK cells were found to be activated via Fc?RIIIa and enhanced the IFN-? production by pDCs. The enhancing effect of the NK cells was mediated via both soluble factors, such as the cytokine MIP-1?, and in a cell-cell contact mediated manner via the adhesion molecule LFA-1. In Study II, B cells enhanced the IFN-? production by pDCs via cell-cell contact or soluble factors, depending on the stimuli. The cell-cell contact-mediated enhancement, when the cells were stimulated with RNA-IC, was abolished by blocking the cell adhesion molecule CD31. B cells stimulated with the oligonucleotide ODN2216 enhanced the IFN-? production via soluble factors. In Study III, gene variants related to autoimmune or inflammatory diseases were analyzed for the association to the IFN-? production by pDCs, alone or in coculture with NK or B cells. Depending on cell combination, 18-86 SNPs (p < 0.001) were associated with the IFN-? production. Several of the SNPs showed novel associations to the type I IFN system, while some loci have been described earlier for their association with SLE, e.g. IL10 and PXK. In Study IV, several B cell populations were affected by cocultivation with pDCs and stimulation with RNA-IC. The frequency of CD24hiCD38hi B cells of regulatory character was increased in the pDC-B cell cocultures. However, RNA-IC-stimulation only induced modest levels of IL-10. A remarkably increased frequency of double negative CD27-IgD- B cells was found in the RNA-IC-stimulated cocultures of pDCs and B cells.In conclusion, the findings in the present thesis reveal novel mechanisms behind the regulation of the type I IFN system which could be important targets in autoimmune diseases with constantly activated pDCs.
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