Immune homeostasis is critically regulated by the balance between activating and inhibitory receptors expressed on various immune cells such as T and B lymphocytes, and myeloid cells. The inhibitory receptors play a fundamental role in the immune checkpoint pathway, thus maintaining peripheral tolerance. We recently found that expression of leukocyte immunoglobulin-like receptor (LILR)B4, an inhibitory member of the human LILR family, is augmented in auto-antibodyproducing plasmablasts/plasma cells of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients. However, the mechanism behind the 'paradoxical' up-regulation of this inhibitory receptor upon pathogenic antibody-secreting cells is yet to be known. To this end, in this study, we examined if glycoprotein 49B (gp49B), the murine counterpart of human LILRB4, is also elevated in auto-antibody-producing cells in several SLE mouse models, and tried to clarify the underlying mechanism. We found that gp49B is expressed on plasma cellsof lupus-prone models but not of healthy C57BL/6 mice, and the level was positively correlated to the anti-double-stranded DNA IgG titer in serum. Gp49B genetic deletion, however, did not abolish the serum auto-antibodies or fully ameliorate the lethal glomerulonephritis, indicating that gp49B is not the sole regulator of lupus but a pathogenic element in the disease. We conclude that the elevated expression of this inhibitory receptor on pathogenic plasma cells was also relevant upon the murine SLE model. The mechanism of gp49B underlying the disease progression in lupus-prone mice has been discussed.
- B-cell development
- plasma cell