Expression of natural autoantibodies in MRL-lpr mice protects from lupus nephritis and improves survival

Kaiissar Mannoor, Agata Matejuk, Yang Xu, Michael Beardall, Ching Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Natural autoantibodies (NAA) and their associated B cells constitute a substantial proportion of the normal Ab and B cell repertoire. They often have weak reactivity toward a variety of self-Ags such as DNA, nucleoproteins, and phospholipids. It remains controversial whether NAA contribute to or protect from autoimmune diseases. Using site-directed transgenic (sd-tg) mice expressing a prototypic NAA, we investigated the effect of NAA and NAA-producing B cells in disease development in the autoimmuneprone MRL/MpJ-Fas lpr (MRL-lpr) mice. We found that the expression of NAA in MRL-lpr mice prevented proteinuria and reduced kidney immune complex formation. The mice had significantly improved survival. Administration of the IgM NAA to MRL-lpr mice also delayed the onset of nephritis. The sd-tg MRL-lpr mice had decreased levels of anti-dsDNA Abs, anti-Hep2 nuclear Abs, and anti-Sm/ribonucleoprotein Abs. There is a shift in the IgG subclass profile from IgG2a and IgG3 to IgG1 in the sd-tg MRL-lpr mice. The CD4 + T cells from the sd-tg MRL-lpr mice had increased expression of the negative costimulatory molecule CTLA-4 and increased production of IL-10 as compared with those from the wild-type mice. Furthermore, the NAA B cells produced large amounts of IL-10 upon TLR stimulation. These results indicate that NAA and NAA-producing B cells play an important role in protection from lupus nephritis and suggest that the NAA B cells may have an immune regulatory function via the provision of IL-10.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3628-3638
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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