In systemic autoimmune-prone (NZB x NZW)F1 (NZB/W F1) mice, B-cell abnormalities characterized by hypergammaglobulinaemia accompanying autoantibodies have been thought to be a main cause of the disease. To examine a possible regulatory role of B cells in the disease manifestations, we injected, intravenously (i.v.), normal or autoimmune B cells into non-irradiated NZB/W F1 mice. The injection of splenic B cells from major histocompatibility (MHC)-matched or allogeneic normal mice caused a marked decrease in serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) levels of autoantibodies, delayed the appearance of proteinuria and prolonged life span, whereas treatment with splenic B cells from NZB/W F1 or X-linked immunodeficient (Xid) mice failed to suppress the autoimmunity. Moreover, in vitro polyclonal antibody responses to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of NZB/W F1-derived B cells from the treated mice were markedly reduced. Interestingly, the treatment of NZB/W F1 mice at 16, 18 and 20 or at 20, 22 and 24 weeks of age was more effective than that at 6, 8 and 10 weeks. The treatment also inhibited the development of surface IgG+ (sIgG+) B cells and splenomegaly, prominent in aged NZB/W F1 mice. In addition, when untreated NZB/W F1 responding B cells were precultured with normal B cells in vitro for 3 days, they also diminished the autoantibody production to subsequent LPS stimulation. Hence, the present results imply a novel function of normal B cells to ameliorate autoimmune disease in NZB/W F1 mice by correcting their B-cell abnormalities, and indicate that NZB/W F1 and Xid mice possess defects in this regulatory B-cell function.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy