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This article is part of the supplement: 25th European Workshop for Rheumatology Research

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Type 1 regulatory T cells in treatment of murine lupus

R Undeutsch1, J Humrich1, BH Hahn2, F Hiepe1, G Burmester1, A Radbruch3 and G Riemekasten1

Author Affiliations

1 Charité University Hospital, Berlin, Germany

2 University of California, Los Angeles, California, USA

3 German Arthritis Research Centre, Berlin, Germany

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2005, 7(Suppl 1):P95  doi:10.1186/ar1616

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Received:11 January 2005
Published:17 February 2005

© 2005 BioMed Central Ltd

Poster presentation

Systemic lupus erythematosus is a severe systemic autoimmune disease characterized by loss of tolerance towards a restricted panel of autoantigens. As a result, pathogenic autoantibodies against dsDNA or the Sm proteins occur. We identified the SmD1(83-119) peptide, the C-terminus of the spliceosomal protein SmD1, as a major B-cell and T-cell autoantigen in human and murine lupus [1-3]. In previous work we could show that intravenous high-dose application of SmD1(83-119) prolongs survival in NZB/W F1 mice and delays occurrence of anti-dsDNA autoantibodies [4]. Higher percentages of CD4+ T cells that produce IL-10 and interferon gamma were detected on restimulation with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate/ionomycin later on in the spleen, indicating involvement of type 1 regulatory T cell (Tr1 cell)-mediated tolerance [4]. Transfer of splenic CD90+ T cells from mice treated with high doses of SmD1(83-119) into untreated mice delayed the occurrence of anti-dsDNA autoantibodies in these recipients as well [4].

We now performed a SmD1(83-119) specific analysis of the CD4+ T cells after high-dose application of SmD1(83-119) and detected SmD1(83-119)-reactive CD4+IL-10+ Tr1 cells in the spleen and in draining lymph nodes after additional immunization with SmD1(83-119). In vitro experiments showed that Tr1-cell-mediated suppression of anti-DNA autoantibody production is dependent on the activity of IL-10 as the addition of neutralizing anti-IL-10 antibodies abrogated this effect. Furthermore, adoptive transfer of SmD1(83-119) reactive Tr1-cell-containing lymph node cells delayed the occurrence of anti-DNA autoantibodies in the recipient mice as well.

We conclude that high-dose application of SmD1(83-119) induces SmD1(83-119) specific tolerance in NZB/W F1 mice, which is mediated by SmD1(83-119)-reactive Tr1 cells. These results may open new ways for future autoantigen specific cell-based therapies in systemic lupus erythematosus.


RU and JH contributed equally to this work.


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    J Clin Invest 1998, 102:754-763. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text | PubMed Central Full Text OpenURL

  2. Riemekasten G, et al.: T cell reactivity against the SmD1(83-119) C terminal peptide in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.

    Ann Rheum Dis 2002, 61:779-785. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text OpenURL

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    Arthritis Rheum 2003, 48:475-485. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text OpenURL

  4. Riemekasten G, Langnickel D, et al.: Intravenous injection of a D1 protein of the smith proteins postpones murine lupus and induces type 1 regulatory T cells.

    J Immunol 2004, 173:5835-5842. PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text OpenURL