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Absence of nonhematopoietic MHC class II expression protects mice from experimental autoimmune myocarditis


Thelemann, Christoph; Haller, Sergio; Blyszczuk, Przemyslaw; Kania, Gabriela; Rosa, Muriel; Eriksson, Urs; Rotman, Samuel; Reith, Walter; Acha-Orbea, Hans (2016). Absence of nonhematopoietic MHC class II expression protects mice from experimental autoimmune myocarditis. European Journal of Immunology, 46(3):656-664.

Abstract

Experimental autoimmune myocarditis (EAM) is a CD4(+) T-cell-mediated model of human inflammatory dilated cardiomyopathies. Heart-specific CD4(+) T-cell activation is dependent on autoantigens presented by MHC class II (MHCII) molecules expressed on professional APCs. In this study, we addressed the role of inflammation-induced MHCII expression by cardiac nonhematopoietic cells on EAM development. EAM was induced in susceptible mice lacking inducible expression of MHCII molecules on all nonhematopoietic cells (pIV-/- K14 class II transactivator (CIITA) transgenic (Tg) mice) by immunization with α-myosin heavy chain peptide in CFA. Lack of inducible nonhematopoietic MHCII expression in pIV-/- K14 CIITA Tg mice conferred EAM resistance. In contrast, cardiac pathology was induced in WT and heterozygous mice, and correlated with elevated cardiac endothelial MHCII expression. Control mice with myocarditis displayed an increase in infiltrating CD4(+) T cells and in expression of IFN-γ, which is the major driver of nonhematopoietic MHCII expression. Mechanistically, IFN-γ neutralization in WT mice shortly before disease onset resulted in reduced cardiac MHCII expression and pathology. These findings reveal a previously overlooked contribution of IFN-γ to induce endothelial MHCII expression in the heart and to progress cardiac pathology during myocarditis.

Abstract

Experimental autoimmune myocarditis (EAM) is a CD4(+) T-cell-mediated model of human inflammatory dilated cardiomyopathies. Heart-specific CD4(+) T-cell activation is dependent on autoantigens presented by MHC class II (MHCII) molecules expressed on professional APCs. In this study, we addressed the role of inflammation-induced MHCII expression by cardiac nonhematopoietic cells on EAM development. EAM was induced in susceptible mice lacking inducible expression of MHCII molecules on all nonhematopoietic cells (pIV-/- K14 class II transactivator (CIITA) transgenic (Tg) mice) by immunization with α-myosin heavy chain peptide in CFA. Lack of inducible nonhematopoietic MHCII expression in pIV-/- K14 CIITA Tg mice conferred EAM resistance. In contrast, cardiac pathology was induced in WT and heterozygous mice, and correlated with elevated cardiac endothelial MHCII expression. Control mice with myocarditis displayed an increase in infiltrating CD4(+) T cells and in expression of IFN-γ, which is the major driver of nonhematopoietic MHCII expression. Mechanistically, IFN-γ neutralization in WT mice shortly before disease onset resulted in reduced cardiac MHCII expression and pathology. These findings reveal a previously overlooked contribution of IFN-γ to induce endothelial MHCII expression in the heart and to progress cardiac pathology during myocarditis.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Rheumatology Clinic and Institute of Physical Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:March 2016
Deposited On:02 Mar 2017 12:40
Last Modified:05 Mar 2017 06:08
Publisher:Wiley-VCH Verlag
ISSN:0014-2980
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/eji.201545945
PubMed ID:26621778

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