Bone and Joint Institute

Title

Immune responses to peptides containing homocitrulline or citrulline in the DR4-transgenic mouse model of rheumatoid arthritis

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2018

Journal

JOURNAL OF AUTOIMMUNITY

Volume

89

First Page

75

Last Page

81

URL with Digital Object Identifier

10.1016/j.jaut.2017.12.002

Abstract

Antibodies to proteins/peptides containing citrulline are hallmarks of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). These antibodies are strongly associated with the expression of the Shared Epitope (SE). RA patients also generate antibodies to homocitrulline-containing proteins/peptides (also referred to as anti-carbamylated protein antibodies (Anti-CarP)). This study was undertaken to investigate the relationship between homocitrulline and citrulline immune responses using an established mouse model of RA: DR4-transgenic (DR4tg) mice that express the human SE. C57BL/6 (B6) and DR4tg (on a B6 background) mice were immunized subcutaneously with a homocitrullinated peptide (HomoCitJED). Splenic T cell proliferation was evaluated by H-3-thymidine incorporation assay. Antibodies to homocitrullinated and citrullinated antigens were screened by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Antibody cross reactivity was examined by inhibition with HomoCitJED and its citrullinated counterpart peptide, CitJED (the number of homocitrullines in HomoCitJED is equal to the number of citrullines in CitJED). HomoCitJED-immunized DR4tg mice developed early T and B cell responses to HomoCitJED and late responses to CitJED. These mice also developed anti-CCP2 antibodies. In some mice, antibodies to HomoCitJED were also reactive to CitJED. B6 mice immunized with HomoCitJED developed late T and B cell responses to HomoCitJED, but did not generate responses to citrullinated antigens. Unlike DR4tg mice, anti-HomoCitJED antibodies from B6 mice did not react to CitJED. In conclusion, DR4tg mice immunized with HomoCitJED developed immune responses to CitJED, indicating cross-reactivity. CitJED immune responses were dependent on the SE. HomoCitJED responses occurred in the absence of the SE (B6 mice); however, they developed earlier in DR4tg SE-expressing mice. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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