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Amelioration of Mercury-Induced Autoimmunity by 4-1BB1 *

In certain strains of mice, subtoxic doses of HgCl2 (mercuric chloride; mercury) induce a complex autoimmune condition characterized by the production of antinucleolar IgG Abs, lymphoproliferation, increased serum levels of IgG1/IgE Abs, and deposition of renal immune complexes. 4-1BB is an important T cell costimulatory molecule that has been implicated in T cell proliferation and cytokine production, especially production of IFN-. To elucidate T cell control mediated by the 4-1BB signaling pathway in this syndrome, we assessed the effect of administering agonistic anti-4-1BB mAb on mercury-induced autoimmunity. Groups of A.SW mice (H-2s) received mercury/control Ig or mercury/anti-4-1BB or PBS alone. Anti-4-1BB mAb treatment resulted in a dramatic reduction of mercury-induced antinucleolar Ab titers, serum IgG1/IgE induction, and renal Ig deposition. These effects may be related to the present finding that anti-4-1BB mAb decreases B cell numbers and function. The anti-4-1BB mAb-treated mercury group also showed a marked reduction in Th2-type cytokines but an increase in Th1-type cytokines and chemokines. Increased IFN- production due to anti-4-1BB mAb treatment appears to be responsible for the observed B cell defects because neutralization of IFN- in vivo substantially restored B cell numbers and partly restored IgG1/IgE. Collectively, our results indicate that 4-1BB mAb can down-regulate mercury-induced autoimmunity by affecting B cell function in an IFN–dependent manner and thus, preventing the development of autoantibody production and tissue Ig deposition.

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As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 11-10-2008
Authors: Dass S. Vinay*, Jung D. Kim*, and Byoung S. Kwon2,*,
Source: The Journal of Immunology, 2006, 177: 5708-5717.