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Studies on cytokines in experimental metal-induced systemic autoimmunity
Linköping University, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Molecular and Immunological Pathology. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The effect on the imnnme system of inorganic mercury (Hg), organic mercury (methyl mercury-MeHg), and silver was examined in mouse strains genetically susceptible or resistant to metal-induced systemic autoimmunity (MIA). The major aim was to study the cytokine mRNA expression in the immune system of metal-treated mice, and relate these findings to the different parameters of MIA.

Cytokine mRNA expression in lymphoid tissues was assessed using the ribonuclease protection assay (RPA) and phosphorimaging. The baseline expression of IL-2 and IFN-γ mRNA was higher in a strain (A.SW) susceptible to induction of MIA, compared with a resistant strain (A.TL). In A.SW mice Hg treatment caused early upregulation of IL-2 and IFN-γ mRNA expression, followed by substantial expression of IL-4 mRNA, and induction of antifibrillarin antibodies (AFA), lymphoproliferation and systemic immune-complex (IC) deposits. Hg treatment caused in MIA-resistant A.TL mice unchanged expression of IFN-γ mRNA, but reduced IL-2 expression. A major difference between A.SW and A.TL mice was the greatly increased IL-10 mRNA expression in the latter strain. Silver treatment of A.SW mice, which leads to a modified MIA with AFA, minimal lymphoproliferation, but no IC deposits, caused an early increase of IL-2 and IFN-γ mRNA, but only a slight increase of IL-4 mRNA.

The observation of a preferential expression of IL-10 mRNA in Hg-treated genetically MIA-resistant mice was further examined by using a strain with a targeted mutation for the IL-10 gene, as well as treatruent of genetically susceptible mice with recombinaot IL-10 (rIL-10). The IL-10 deficient strain did not develop AFA during Hg treatment, but showed a significant increase in antinuclear antibodies with a homogeneous pattern and a higher serum lgE concentration compared with Hg-treated resistant mice lacking the IL-10 mutation. The susceptible A.SW strain showed during intense treabnent with riL-10 and Hg a reduced induction of AFA, antichromalin antibodies (ACA), and serum IgE, as compared with A.SW mice only receiving Hg.

The paradigm of T helper cells type 1 (Th1) aod 2 (Th2) is often discussed in the pathogenesis of autoimmnne diseases. MIA has many characteristics of a Th2 type of reaction, but the disease induction is critically depeodent on the Th1 cytokine IFN-γ. In order to study the relevance of the Th1/Th2 concept for MIA, and to see if the disease could be aggravated by a strong deviation towards Th1, rIL-12 was given in combination with anti-IL-4 monoclonal aotibody (Mab) during treatmeut with Hg to the susceptible A.SW strain. The combined treatment reduced the Th2-dependent serum Ig isotypes, but increased the Th1-dependent IgG2a isotype. The IgG-AFA developed earlier and attained a higher titre. The renal IC deposits were severely reduced after combined treatment during the induction phase. Treatment with rIL-12 + Hg increased the Th1-dependent AFA of the IgG2a isotype, the polyclonal B-cell activation (PBA), and the IC deposits in renal and splenic vessel wall. Using only anti-IL-4 Mab during induction of MIA, the Th2-dependent serum IgG isotypes were reduced, while the development of AFA was not affected. The renal vessel wall IC deposits were reduced while the splenic vessel wall deposits were unaffected.

A previous study showed that the organic mercury compound MeHg causes a different MIA pattern than Hg. In order to examine the relation between cytokine expression and different MIA parameters, susceptible A.SW mice were treated with MeHg, which caused an initial immunosuppression especially with regard to B-cells. The immunosuppression was superseded by a modest induction of AFA and IL-4 mRNA, but a lack of increase in IL-2 and IFN-γ mRNA, PBA, and systemic IC deposits. While increasing the dose ofMeHg accelerated and increased AFA development, the immuno-stimulation or IC deposits could not be aggravated. Speciation of mercury showed that the organ content of MeHg and Hg gradually increased.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet , 2004. , 64 p.
Series
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 863
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-22315Local ID: 1510ISBN: 91-7373-837-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-22315DiVA: diva2:242628
Public defence
2004-10-22, Eken, Hälsouniversitet, Linköping, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Available from: 2009-10-07 Created: 2009-10-07 Last updated: 2012-10-22Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Murine metal-induced systemic autoimmunity: baseline and stimulated cytokine mRNA expression in genetically susceptible and resistant strains
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Murine metal-induced systemic autoimmunity: baseline and stimulated cytokine mRNA expression in genetically susceptible and resistant strains
2001 (English)In: Clinical and Experimental Immunology, ISSN 0009-9104, E-ISSN 1365-2249, Vol. 126, no 1, 157-164 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Cytokines play an important and complex role in the pathogenesis of systemic autoimmune diseases. In susceptible H-2s mice, inorganic mercury (Hg) induces lymphoproliferation, antinucleolar antibodies against the 34-kDa-protein fibrillarin, and systemic immune-complex (IC) deposits. Here, we report extensive analysis of cytokine mRNA levels in susceptible A.SW (H-2s) and resistant A.TL (H-2tl) mice under unstimulated conditions and during oral treatment with Hg and/or silver nitrate (Ag). Cytokine mRNA expression in lymphoid tissues was assessed using the ribonuclease protection assay and phosphorimaging. Baseline expression of IL-2 and IFN-γ mRNA was higher in A.SW than in A.TL mice. In A.SW mice, Hg treatment caused early up-regulation of IL-2 and IFN-γ levels, followed by substantial expression of IL-4 mRNA, which was significant compared to control A.SW and Hg-treated A.TL mice. Hg-exposed A.TL mice exhibited unchanged IFN-γ, reduced IL-2 and greatly increased IL-10 mRNA expression. Ag-treated A.SW mice, which develop antifibrillarin antibodies (AFA) but exhibit minimal immune activation and no IC deposits, showed an early increase in IL-2 and IFN-γ mRNA, but only a small and delayed rise in IL-4 mRNA. In conclusion, H-2-linked resistance to Hg-induced AFA is characterized by low constitutive expression of IL-2 and IFN-γ mRNA, which is not increased by Hg, and a marked increase in IL-10 expression. Conversely, the key features of H-2-linked susceptibility to Hg- and Ag-induced AFA are up-regulation of IL-2, IFN-γ and IL-4 mRNA expression, and down-regulation of IL-10 expression.

National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-25960 (URN)10.1046/j.1365-2249.2001.01636.x (DOI)10408 (Local ID)10408 (Archive number)10408 (OAI)
Available from: 2009-10-08 Created: 2009-10-08 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
2. IL-10 is not a major determinant for resistance to murine mercury-induced systemic autoimmunity
Open this publication in new window or tab >>IL-10 is not a major determinant for resistance to murine mercury-induced systemic autoimmunity
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Systemic autoimmune diseases have a complicated and largely unknown etiology and pathogenesis, but they are at least partly obeying the rules of an ordinary immune response. Cytokines are therefore important in the pathogenesis as demonstrated by the recent success in treating rheumatoid arthritis with anti-cytokine agents. The suppressive fimctions in the immune system have lately received much interest. One of the cytokines in focus in this respect is IL-10. We recently observed that in heavy-metal induced systemic autoimmunity, genetically resistant mice show a strong increase in IL-10 mRNA expression, which was not seen in susceptible mice. We have therefore examined the possible regulating effect of IL-10 on induction and manifestation of systemic autoimmunity in this model. We took two approaches: a targeted mutation for the IL-10 gene in a strain resistant to heavy-metal induced autoimmunity, and treatment with recombinant IL-10 in the genetically susceptible A. SW strain during the induction of autoimmunity by metals.

The wild-type C57BL/6J (B6-WT) strain did not react with lymphoproliferation, polyclonal B-cell activation, increases in antinuclear autoantibodies (ANA) or tissue immune-complex (IC) deposits in response to inorganic mercury (Hg) or silver (Ag). However, in agreement with previous obsetvations there was a modest increase in serum IgG1, IgE and IgG2a. Treatment with Ag caused only a weak increase in IgE and IgG1. The B6.129P2-µ10tm1Cgn /J strain (IL-10 deficient B6 mice) did not develop antinucleolar antibodies (ANoA) during Hg treatment, but compared with Hg-treated B6-WT mice there was a significant increase in homogeneous ANA and a higher serum IgE concentration. The IL-10 deficient B6 controls showed a spontaneous increase in splenic weight as well as serum IgM and IgG1 compared with the B6-WT control mice. These signs of immune activation were also present in the IL-10 deficient B6 mice treated with Hg, while treatment with Ag reduced these features making the response similar to that in the B6-WT controls.

The susceptible A.SW mice treated with rIL-10 and Hg showed during ongoing intense rIL-10 treatment reduced induction of ANoA, reduction in antichromatin antibodies (ACA), and a reduced increase in serum IgE compared with mice which received Hg but not rIL-10. In conclusion, the reduced ANoA induction during riL-10 treatment indicates suppressive effect of IL-10 on autoimmune development. Lack of IL-10 may promote development of ANA, ACA, and serum IgE, but is not likely to be crucial for resistance to heavy-metal induced autoimmunity.

National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-84778 (URN)
Available from: 2012-10-22 Created: 2012-10-22 Last updated: 2012-10-22Bibliographically approved
3. Effects of deviating the Th2-response in murine mercury-induced autoimmunity towards a Th1-response
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Effects of deviating the Th2-response in murine mercury-induced autoimmunity towards a Th1-response
2003 (English)In: Clinical and Experimental Immunology, ISSN 0009-9104, E-ISSN 1365-2249, Vol. 134, no 2, 202-209 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

T-helper cells type 1 (Th1) and type 2 (Th2) play an important role in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. In many Th1-dependent autoimmune models, treatment with recombinant interleukin-12 (rIL-12) accelerates the autoimmune response. Mercury-induced autoimmunity (HgIA) in mice is an H-2 regulated condition with antinucleolar antibodies targeting fibrillarin (ANoA), systemic immune-complex (IC) deposits and transient polyclonal B-cell activation (PBA). HgIA has many characteristics of a Th2 type of reaction, including a strong increase of IgE, but disease induction is critically dependent on the Th1 cytokine IFN-γ. The aim of this study was to investigate if a strong deviation of the immune response in HgIA towards Th1 would aggravate HgIA. Injections of both rIL-12 and anti-IL-4 monoclonal antibody (α-IL-4) reduced the HgCl2-(Hg-)induced concentration of the Th2-dependent serum IgE and IgG1, but increased the Th1-dependent serum IgG2a. The IgG-ANoA developed earlier and attained a higher titre after combined treatment, and the ANoA titre of the IgG1 isotype decreased while the ANoA titre of the Th1-associated IgG2a, IgG2b and IgG3-ANoA isotypes increased. Treatment with rIL-12 alone increased the Hg-induced IgG2a and IgG3 ANoA titres, the PBA, and the IC deposits in renal and splenic vessel walls, while treatment with α-IL-4 + Hg inhibited renal but not splenic vessel wall IC deposits. We conclude that manipulating the cytokine status, by altering the Th1/Th2 balance, will influence autoimmune disease manifestations. This might be an important way of modulating human autoimmune diseases.

National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-26489 (URN)10.1046/j.1365-2249.2003.02303.x (DOI)11045 (Local ID)11045 (Archive number)11045 (OAI)
Available from: 2009-10-08 Created: 2009-10-08 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
4. The immunosuppressive effect of methylmercury does not preclude development of autoimmunity in genetically susceptible mice
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The immunosuppressive effect of methylmercury does not preclude development of autoimmunity in genetically susceptible mice
2005 (English)In: Toxicology, ISSN 0300-483X, E-ISSN 1879-3185, Vol. 208, no 1, 149-164 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Methylmercury (MeHg) is a common environmental pollutant due to both natural and anthropogenic sources. Although the central nervous system (CNS) is considered the critical organ for the toxic effect of MeHg, it has recently been suggested that the immune system might be at least as sensitive as the CNS.

We have examined the effects of MeHg on the immune system in genetically metal-susceptible mice. Subcutaneous (sc) injections of 2 mg MeHg/kg body weight (bw) every third day (internal dose ca. 540 μg Hg/kg bw/day) to A.SW mice of the H-2s haplotype, caused during the first week a 47 and 9% reduction of B- and T-cells, respectively, which indicates immunosuppression. Subsequently, an autoimmune syndrome developed which shared certain features with the syndrome induced by inorganic mercury in H-2s mice, including antibodies targeting the 34 kDa nucleolar protein fibrillarin, increased expression of IL-4 mRNA, increase of Th2-type of immunoglobulins (IgE and IgG1), and increased MHC class II expression on B-cells. However, the response using MeHg was attenuated compared with even lower doses of Hg in the form of inorganic mercury, and specifically lacked the increased expression of IL-2 and IFN-γ mRNA, the polyclonal B-cell activation (PBA), and the systemic immune-complex (IC) deposits which are induced by inorganic mercury. Increasing the dose of MeHg increased the titre of anti-nucleolar antibodies and shortened the induction time, but did not lead to stronger immunostimulation or systemic IC-deposits. The kidney and liver selectively accumulated MeHg, while the blood, spleen and lymph nodes showed lower levels of MeHg. The accumulation of MeHg and Hg2+ increased throughout the 30-day period. The fraction of Hg2+ in the kidney varied between 4 and 22%, and the lymph nodes showed a maximum of 30% Hg2+.

We conclude first that MeHg has quantitatively different effect on the immune system compared with inorganic mercury, and secondly that an initial immunosuppression induced by a xenobiotic does not preclude subsequent immunostimulation and autoimmunity.

National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-30139 (URN)10.1016/j.tox.2004.11.020 (DOI)15619 (Local ID)15619 (Archive number)15619 (OAI)
Available from: 2009-10-09 Created: 2009-10-09 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved

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