Pulmonary involvement in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is common, often incapacitating, and occasionally lethal. Current therapies are less effective for pulmonary involvement than for other organ systems. To define the molecular pathogenesis of SLE, we have developed a murine model system that depends on adoptive transfer of syngeneic activated CD4+ T cells treated with DNA methyltransferase (DNA MTase) inhibitors such as procainamide (Pca). Normal AKR mice receiving cells of the cloned T cell line D10 that have been treated with Pca (D10Pca) develop high-titer anti-DNA autoantibodies, nephritis, liver disease resembling biliary cirrhosis, and lymphoid interstitial pneumonitis (LIP). Splenectomy abrogates disease activity in all organs except the lungs, indicating that pathology in this organ does not depend of autoantibody production. Treatment with DNA MTase inhibitors increases expression of the Beta2 integrin LFA-1 (CD11a/CD18). T cells transfected with CD18 are also autoreactive and induce lupus on transfer to syngeneic mice. Lymphocyte DNA hypo-methylation and LFA-1 over-expression is also seen in patients with active lupus. These findings imply that T cell overexpression of LFA-1 is sufficient to initiate SLE, and that the T cell-dependent lung lesion may be the earliest stage in the process. This proposal will examine the molecular mechanisms involved in lung pathology in this model system, utilizing a variety of techniques and lessons learned from the study of other models of lung lymphocyte trafficking. Central Hypothesis: Increased LFA-1 expression by autoreactive T cells mediates adhesion both to lung endothelial cells and to lung antigen-presenting cells (APCs), especially macrophages (Mphis) (resulting in apoptosis and release of autoantigens). These interactions initiate recruitment of other activated T cells to the lung via VLA-4/VCAM and selectin-dependent interactions, inducing LIP.
Specific Aim 1 : To verify the lung localization of D10Pca is required to induce drug-induced murine LIP.
Specific Aim 2 : To determine the adhesive interactions mediating lung localization of D10Pca and other lung lymphocytes during development of LIP.
Specific Aim 3 : To determine whether inhibiting pulmonary retention of D10Pca via monoclonal antibody (mAb) treatment prevents development of LIP. Our long-term goal is to develop effective therapies to treat established SLE based on anti-adhesive strategies.
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