Volume 14 Supplement 1

Proceedings of the 8th Global Arthritis Research Network (GARN) Meeting and 1st Bio-Rheumatology International Congress (BRIC)

Open Access

Death receptor-induced apoptosis signalling - essential guardian against autoimmune disease

  • Andreas Strasser1Email author,
  • Lorraine A O'Reilly1,
  • Philipp Jost1,
  • Thomas Kaufmann1,
  • Stephanie Grabow1,
  • Elizabeth Kruse1,
  • Lin Tai1,
  • Mark Smyth2 and
  • Philippe Bouillet1
Arthritis Research & Therapy201214(Suppl 1):O8

DOI: 10.1186/ar3563

Published: 29 February 2012

The FasL/Fas system is critical for deletion of autoreactive and antigen-activated T and B cells. Accordingly, mutations in these proteins result in lymphadenopathy and autoimmunity in gld and lpr mutant mice, which lack functional FasL or Fas, respectively. Upon antigenic stimulation of T cells, FasL is sythesised, directed to and stored in secretory lysosomes followed by extrusion at the immunological synapse where it is rapidly downregulated by a metalloprotease, shedding the extracellular portion (sFasL) to prevent non-specific killing. It is unclear whether the pathology observed in gld mutant mice is due to the loss of the membrane-bound or the secreted form of FasL or both.

We have produced a panel of mutant FasL knock-in mice to address this question. In the first mutant strain the cytoplasmic and trans-membrane domains of FasL were replaced with the signal peptide from G-CSF. Activated T cells from these mutant mice can produce cytoplasmic but no membrane bound FasL and, interestingly, they are defective in FasL-mediated cytotoxic function and undergo significantly less activation-induced cell death upon re-stimulation with anti-CD3 antibodies than wt T cells. The extent of these defects is similar to that seen in FasL mutant gld T cells. With age these FasL mutant knock-in mice develop lymphadenopathy and splenomegaly and CD3+B220+CD4-CD8- T cells accumulate, similarly to what has been observed in gld and lpr mutant mice. In contrast to gld mice, the FasL mutant knock-in mice on the C57BL/6 background develop haemopoietic tumours and reticular cell sarcomas, suggesting that while membrane-bound FasL is the guardian against autoimmunity, secreted FasL may play a critical role in tissue damage and tumour suppression.

Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
(2)
The Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

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Copyright

© Strasser et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2012

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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