Nucleic acid (NA)-sensing TLRs (NA-TLRs) promote the induction of anti-nuclear Abs in systemic lupus erythematosus. However, the extent to which other nonnuclear pathogenic autoantibody specificities that occur in lupus and independently in other autoimmune diseases depend on NA-TLRs, and which immune cells require NA-TLRs in systemic autoimmunity, remains to be determined. Using Unc93b13d lupus-prone mice that lack NA-TLR signaling, we found that all pathogenic nonnuclear autoantibody specificities examined, even anti-RBC, required NA-TLRs. Furthermore, we document that NA-TLRs in B cells were required for the development of antichromatin and rheumatoid factor. These findings support a unifying NA-TLR-mediated mechanism of autoantibody production that has both pathophysiological and therapeutic implications for systemic lupus erythematosus and several other humoral-mediated autoimmune diseases. In particular, our findings suggest that targeting of NA-TLR signaling in B cells alone would be sufficient to specifically block production of a broad diversity of autoantibodies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy