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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Nucleosome, the main autoantigen in systemic lupus erythematosus, induces direct dendritic cell activation via a MyD88-independent pathway: consequences on inflammation.

Nucleosome is the major autoantigen in systemic lupus erythematosus. It is found as a circulating complex in the sera of patients and seems to play a key role in disease development. In this study, we show for the first time that physiologic concentrations of purified nucleosomes directly induce in vitro dendritic cell (DC) maturation of mouse bone marrow-derived DC, human monocyte-derived DC (MDDC), and purified human myeloid DC as observed by stimulation of allogenic cells in MLR, cytokine secretion, and CD86 up-regulation. Importantly, nucleosomes act as free complexes without the need for immune complex formation or for the presence of unmethylated CpG DNA motifs, and we thus identified a new mechanism of DC activation by nucleosomes. We have clearly demonstrated that this activation is nucleosome-specific and endotoxin-independent. Particularly, nucleosomes induce MDDC to secrete cytokines known to be detected in high concentrations in the sera of patients. Moreover, activated MDDC secrete IL-8, a neutrophil chemoattractant also detected in patient sera, and thus might favor the inflammation observed in patients. Both normal and lupus MDDC are sensitive to nucleosome-induced activation. Finally, injection of purified nucleosomes to normal mice induces in vivo DC maturation. Altogether, these results strengthen the key role of nucleosomes in systemic lupus erythematosus and might explain how peripheral tolerance is broken in patients.[1]


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