Volume 6 Supplement 1

24th European Workshop for Rheumatology Research

Open Access

Cytokine imbalance in NZB/W mice is associated with autoantibody levels and nephritis

  • P Enghard1,
  • D Langnickel1,
  • F Hiepe1, 2,
  • GR Burmester1 and
  • G Riemekasten1
Arthritis Res Ther20046(Suppl 1):23

https://doi.org/10.1186/ar1065

Received: 16 January 2004

Published: 24 February 2004

Background

In the NZB/W murine model of lupus, various studies have analyzed cytokine production during disease development with contradictory results.

Objective

The aim of this study was to analyze cytokine pattern of splenic T cells from NZB/W mice. We assessed the possibility that a shift in cytokine production is associated with age, disease activity, or manifestation of nephritis.

Methods

NZB/W mice of different ages spanning 5–36 weeks were analyzed, and healthy (BALB/c × NZW) F1 mice were used as controls. Proteinuria was measured using albustix. Plasma creatinine and autoantibody levels were detected by commercial test kid and by ELISA, respectively. Splenic CD4+ T cells stimulated with PMA/Ionomycin were analyzed for intracellular cytokine staining by FACS analysis.

Results

The increased frequency of IFN-γ producing CD4+ T cells correlated with age, anti-dsDNA IgG antibody levels and proteinuria. The increasing number of IL-10 producers was only associated with anti-dsDNA antibody levels and proteinuria. A small gain in IL-4+ T cells correlated with plasma creatinine. Neither the number of IL-10 nor that of IL-4 exhibiting T cells correlated with age. There was no significant change observed in the production of TNF-α. Calculating the IFN-γ/IL-4 ratio, an increasing shift toward a Th1 response was observed. The shift strongly correlated with anti-dsDNA antibody titres and proteinuria. In contrast, no cytokine shift could be observed in control mice with increasing age.

Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
Department of Rheumatology, Charité University Hospital
(2)
German Rheumatology Research Center

Copyright

© The Author(s) 2004

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