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Role of the major histocompatibility complex class II Ea gene in lupus susceptibility in mice

Iwamoto, Masahiro
Fossati-Jimack, Liliane
McConahey, P. J.
Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 1997, vol. 94, no. 26, p. 14654-14659
Abstract The gene(s) encoded within major histocompatibility complex (MHC) act as one of the major genetic elements contributing to the susceptibility of murine systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). We have recently demonstrated that lupus susceptibility is more closely linked to the I-E- H-2(b) haplotype than to the I-E+ H-2(d) haplotype in lupus-prone BXSB and (NZB x BXSB)F1 hybrid mice. To investigate whether the reduced susceptibility to SLE in H-2(d) mice is related to the expression of the MHC class II Ea gene (absent in H-2(b) mice), we determined the possible role of the Ea gene as a lupus protective gene in mice. Our results showed that (i) the development of SLE was almost completely prevented in BXSB (H-2(b)) mice expressing two copies of the Ead transgene at the homozygous level as well as in BXSB H-2(k) (I-E+) congenic mice as for H-2(d) BXSB mice, and (ii) the expression of two functional Ea (transgenic and endogenous) genes in either H-2(d/b) (NZB x BXSB)F1 or H-2(k/b) (MRL x BXSB)F1 mice provided protection from SLE at levels comparable to those conferred by the H-2(d/d) or H-2(k/k) haplotype. In addition, the level of the Ea gene-mediated protection appeared to be dependent on the genetic susceptibility to SLE in individual lupus-prone mice. Our results indicate that the reduced susceptibility associated with the I-E+ H-2(d) and H-2(k) haplotypes (versus the I-E- H-2(b) haplotype) is largely, if not all, contributed by the apparent autoimmune suppressive effect of the Ea gene, independently of the expression of the I-A or other MHC-linked genes.
Keywords AnimalsGenetic Predisposition to DiseaseHistocompatibility Antigens Class II/ geneticsLupus Erythematosus, Systemic/genetics/ immunologyMiceMice, Transgenic
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PMID: 9405668
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