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      Basophil Activation-Dependent Autoantibody and Interleukin-17 Production Exacerbate Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

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          Autoantibody and inflammatory cytokines play crucial roles in the development of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE); however, the regulation of their production warrants further investigation. This study aimed to investigate the role of basophil activation in the development of SLE based on studies in patients with SLE and spontaneous lupus-prone MRL- lpr/lpr mice.


          The phenotypes of peripheral basophils and the production of autoantibody and interleukin (IL)-17 in patients with SLE were determined by flow cytometry and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and also their correlations were investigated by statistical analysis. Thereafter, the effect of basophils on autoantibody production by B cells and Th17 differentiation in SLE were evaluated in vitro. Finally, the effect of basophil depletion on the development of autoimmune disorders in spontaneous lupus-prone MRL- lpr/lpr mice was examined.


          The decreased numbers and an increased activation of peripheral basophils were found to be correlated with increased autoantibody production and disease activity in patients with SLE. Correspondingly, in vitro coculture studies showed that basophils obtained from patients with SLE promoted autoantibody production by SLE B cells and promoted Th17 differentiation from SLE naïve CD4 + T cells. The decrease of peripheral basophils in patients with SLE might be due to their migration to lymph nodes post their activation mediated by (autoreactive) IgE as supported by their increased CD62L and CCR7 expressions and accumulation in the lymph nodes of MRL- lpr/lpr mice. Furthermore, an increased activation of peripheral basophils was identified in MRL- lpr/lpr mice. Importantly, basophil-depleted MRL- lpr/lpr mice exhibited an extended life span, improved renal function, and lower serum levels of autoantibodies and IL-17, while basophil-adoptive-transferred mice exhibited the opposite results.


          These finding suggest that basophil activation-dependent autoantibody and IL-17 production may constitute a critical pathogenic mechanism in SLE.

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          Most cited references 49

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          Updating the American college of rheumatology revised criteria for the classification of systemic lupus erythematosus

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            To describe the Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index 2000 (SLEDAI-2K), a modification of SLEDAI to reflect persistent, active disease in those descriptors that had previously only considered new or recurrent occurrences, and to validate SLEDAI-2K against the original SLEDAI as a predictor for mortality and as a measure of global disease activity in the clinic. All visits in our cohort of 960 patients were used to correlate SLEDAI-2K against the original SLEDAI, and the whole cohort was used to validate SLEDAI-2K as a predictor of mortality. A subgroup of 212 patients with SLE followed at the Lupus Clinic who had 5 regular visits, 3-6 months apart, in 1991-93 was also included. An uninvolved clinician evaluated each patient record and assigned a clinical activity level. The SLEDAI score was calculated from the database according to both the original and modified definitions. SLEDAI-2K correlated highly (r = 0.97) with SLEDAI. Both methods for SLEDAI scoring predicted mortality equally (p = 0.0001), and described similarly the range of disease activity as recognized by the clinician. SLEDAI-2K, which allows for persistent activity in rash, mucous membranes, alopecia, and proteinuria, is suitable for use in clinical trials and studies of prognosis in SLE.
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              The generation of antibody-secreting plasma cells.

              The regulation of antibody production is linked to the generation and maintenance of plasmablasts and plasma cells from their B cell precursors. Plasmablasts are the rapidly produced and short-lived effector cells of the early antibody response, whereas plasma cells are the long-lived mediators of lasting humoral immunity. An extraordinary number of control mechanisms, at both the cellular and molecular levels, underlie the regulation of this essential arm of the immune response. Despite this complexity, the terminal differentiation of B cells can be described as a simple probabilistic process that is governed by a central gene-regulatory network and modified by environmental stimuli.

                Author and article information

                Front Immunol
                Front Immunol
                Front. Immunol.
                Frontiers in Immunology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                27 March 2017
                : 8
                1Key Laboratory of Prevention and Management of Chronic Kidney Disease of Zhanjiang City, Affiliated Hospital of Guangdong Medical University , Zhanjiang, China
                2Department of Laboratory Animal Center, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University , Guangzhou, China
                3Department of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta University , Augusta, GA, USA
                4Department of Microbiology, University of Iowa , Iowa City, IA, USA
                Author notes

                Edited by: Guixiu Shi, Xiamen University, China

                Reviewed by: Valentina Canti, San Raffaele Hospital (IRCCS), Italy; Yong-Gil Kim, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, South Korea

                *Correspondence: Hua-feng Liu, hf-liu@

                Specialty section: This article was submitted to Inflammation, a section of the journal Frontiers in Immunology

                Copyright © 2017 Pan, Gong, Xiao, Feng, Li, Deng, Ye, Zheng, Dickerson, Ye, An, Yang and Liu.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 6, Tables: 1, Equations: 0, References: 49, Pages: 15, Words: 7865
                Funded by: National Natural Science Foundation of China 10.13039/501100001809
                Award ID: 81202346, 81471530
                Original Research


                interleukin-17, basophil, ige, systemic lupus erythematosus, autoantibody


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