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Selective increase of autoimmune epitope expression on aged erythrocytes in mice: implications in anti-erythrocyte autoimmune responses

Fossati-Jimack, Liliane
Azeredo da Silveira, Samareh
Kina, Tatsuo
Kuypers, F. A.
Oldenborg, P. A.
Reininger, Luc
Published in Journal of Autoimmunity. 2002, vol. 18, no. 1, p. 17-25
Abstract We investigated the impact of changes occurring during red blood cell (RBC) ageing on the RBC-binding activity of pathogenic anti-erythrocyte monoclonal antibodies derived from autoimmune-prone New Zealand black (NZB) mice. As assessed by flow cytometric analysis on in vivo biotinylated RBCs, all five NZB-derived anti-RBC mAb exhibited more efficient binding to aged RBCs than to young RBCs, and resulted in a selective elimination of more aged RBCs from the circulating blood. In addition, treatment of RBCs with proteases markedly enhanced the binding of all five anti-RBC mAb, raising the possibility that increased exposure of autoimmune epitopes on aged RBCs may be in part, a result of contacts with proteolytic enzymes during the lifetime of circulating RBCs. In marked contrast, the binding activity of mAb raised in non-autoimmune animals against antigens expressed on RBCs, such as CD44, CD47, CD147 and TER-119, was either decreased or unchanged with RBC ageing, and these epitopes, except for that recognized by anti-CD47 mAb, were highly sensitive to mild treatment with proteases. Our data unravel the unique molecular feature of RBC epitopes involved in autoimmune haemolytic anaemia, suggesting that membrane alterations in aged RBCs might play a significant role in the development of the autoantibody response to RBCs.
Keywords Anemia, Hemolytic, Autoimmune/bloodAnimalsAntigens, Surface/immunology/metabolismAutoantibodies/ biosynthesisAutoantigens/ biosynthesis/immunology/metabolismEndopeptidases/metabolismEpitopes/ biosynthesis/immunology/metabolismErythrocyte Aging/ immunologyErythrocytes/ immunology/metabolism/pathologyFlow CytometryMembrane Lipids/metabolismMiceMice, Inbred BALB CMice, Inbred NZBOxidation-ReductionPhospholipids/metabolism
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PMID: 11869043
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