The interaction between matricellular proteins such as tenascin-C (TN-C) and osteopontin (OPN) and integrins has been implicated in the pathology of rheumatoid arthritis in which Th17 cells are recognized as primary pathogenic cells. The differentiation of Th17 cells is tightly regulated by cytokines derived from APCs, receiving various signals including TLR stimuli. In this study, we used a collagen-induced arthritis model and found that increased numbers of a9 integrin-positive conventional dendritic cells and macrophage were detectable in the draining lymph node (dLN) shortly following first immunization, and these cells produced both TN-C and OPN, ligands for a9 integrin. a9 integrin-mediated signaling, induced by TN-C and OPN, promoted the production of Th17-related cytokines by conventional dendritic cells and macrophages in synergy with TLR2 and 4 signaling. This led to the Th17 cell differentiation and arthritis development. Moreover, Th17 cells generated under blocking of α 9 integrin-mediated signaling showed low level of CCR6 expression and impaired migration ability toward CCL20. Thus, we have identified α 9integrin-mediated signaling by TN-C and OPN as a novel intrinsic regulator of pathogenic Th17 cell generation that contributes to the development of rheumatoid arthritis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy