Polymyositis (PM) is an autoimmune muscle disease characterized by oligoclonal T cell infiltrates mediating myocytotoxicity. Although antigenic triggers for this process remain undefined, clinically homogeneous subsets of PM patients are characterized by autoantibodies directed against nuclear and cytoplasmic Ags that include histidyl-tRNA synthetase (Jo-1). Available evidence suggests that formation of anti-Jo-1 autoantibodies is Ag-driven and therefore dependent on CD4+ T cells that may also direct cytolytic CD8+ T cells involved in myocyte destruction. To assess peripheral blood T cell responses to Jo-1, we first subcloned full-length human Jo-1 as well as novel fragments of Jo-1 into the maltose-binding protein expression vector pMALc2. Expressed proteins were then used in standard proliferation assays with either PBMC or autologous DCs as sources of APCs. Although PBMC-derived APCs and DCs both supported peripheral blood T cell proliferation when primed with full-length human Jo-1, only DCs promoted proliferative responses to a unique amino-terminal fragment of Jo-1. mAb blockade of different HLA Ags revealed that these responses were MHC class II dependent. Therefore, for the first time, these studies demonstrate anti-Jo-1 T cell responses in Jo-1 Ab-positive PM patients as well as in healthy control subjects. More importantly, this work underscores the critical importance of APC type in dictating T cell responses to a novel antigenic fragment of Jo-1.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy