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Stepwise changes in the murine salivary gland immune response during virally-induced ectopic lymphoid structure formation


1, 2, 3, 4, 5

 

  1. Centre for Experimental Medicine and Rheumatology, William Harvey Research Institute, Queen Mary University of London, UK.
  2. Centre for Experimental Medicine and Rheumatology, William Harvey Research Institute, Queen Mary University of London, UK.
  3. Centre for Experimental Medicine and Rheumatology, William Harvey Research Institute, Queen Mary University of London, UK.
  4. Centre for Experimental Medicine and Rheumatology, William Harvey Research Institute, Queen Mary University of London, UK.
  5. Centre for Experimental Medicine and Rheumatology, William Harvey Research Institute, Queen Mary University of London, UK. m.bombardieri@qmul.ac.uk

CER14883
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PMID: 34596023 [PubMed]

Received: 11/06/2021
Accepted : 30/08/2021
In Press: 30/09/2021

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:
Sjögren’s syndrome (SS) is a chronic autoimmune disease characterised by lymphocytic infiltration into the salivary glands (SG) and, in a subset of patients, formation of ectopic lymphoid structures (ELS) in the glands. However, the mechanisms of how ELS form ectopically are not fully elucidated. Here we used a viral inducible murine model of ELS formation in the SG to elucidate the key immunological steps regulating the formation of ELS in the SG.
METHODS:
We have utilised an inducible murine model of sialadenitis whereby retrograde cannulation of the submandibular SG with a replication-deficient adenovirus 5 leads to the formation of ELS. Flow cytometry, immunofluorescence and gene expression was performed on the SGs at regular time points after cannulation to follow the organisation of ELS.
RESULTS:
Innate immune cells (neutrophils, eosinophils and monocytes) rapidly infiltrated the SG by 3 days post cannulation (dpc) whereby monocytes started to differentiate into resident macrophages. Myeloid dendritic cells accumulated inside leukocytic aggregates whereas macrophages were excluded from the developing ELS. Meanwhile, CD11b+ cells upregulated Il18, Cxcl13, Ltb, April and other lymphoid genes stimulating the influx of T cells by 12 days and B cells shortly after. Infiltration of T-follicular helper (Tfh) cells correlated with an increase in GL7+ germinal centre B cells, which peaked at 19 dpc.
CONCLUSIONS:
Immune cell infiltration in virally-infected murine SG follows a highly reproducible step-wise process whereby early innate immune cells reshape the SG myeloid compartment leading to upregulation of genes involved in the ectopic lymphoid neogenesis process. This in turns leads to T and B cell recruitment, differentiation and activation, culminating in the organization of ELS and localised germinal centres responses.

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