Thymic B Cells Promote Germinal Center-Like Structures and the Expansion of Follicular Helper T Cells in Lupus-Prone Mice
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease characterized by the activation of autoreactive T and B cells, autoantibody production, and immune complex deposition in various organs. Previous evidence showed abnormal accumulation of B cells in the thymus of lupus-prone mice, but the role of this population in the progression of the disease remains mostly undefined. Here we analyzed the spatial distribution, function, and properties of this thymic B cell population in the BWF1 murine model of SLE. We found that in diseased animals, thymic B cells proliferate, and cluster in structures that resemble ectopic germinal centers. Moreover, we detected antibody-secreting cells in the thymus of diseased-BWF1 mice that produce anti-dsDNA IgG autoantibodies. We also found that thymic B cells from diseased-BWF1 mice induced the differentiation of thymocytes to follicular helper T cells (T-FH). These data suggest that the accumulation of B cells in the thymus of BWF1 mice results in the formation of germinal center-like structures and the expansion of a T-FH population, which may, in turn, activate and differentiate B cells into autoreactive plasma cells. Therefore, the thymus emerges as an important niche that supports the maintenance of the pathogenic humoral response in the development of murine SLE.
|Título según WOS:||ID WOS:000536074900001 Not found in local WOS DB|
|Título de la Revista:||FRONTIERS IN IMMUNOLOGY|
|Editorial:||FRONTIERS MEDIA SA|
|Fecha de publicación:||2020|