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Signaling lymphocytic activation molecule (SLAM)/SLAM-associated protein pathway regulates human B-cell tolerance


BACKGROUND: Signaling lymphocytic activation molecule (SLAM)-associated protein (SAP) can mediate the function of SLAM molecules, which have been proposed to be involved in the development of autoimmunity in mice. OBJECTIVE: We sought to determine whether the SLAM/SAP pathway regulates the establishment of human B-cell tolerance and what mechanisms of B-cell tolerance could be affected by SAP deficiency. METHODS: We tested the reactivity of antibodies isolated from single B cells from SAP-deficient patients with X-linked lymphoproliferative disease (XLP). The expressions of SAP and SLAM family members were assessed in human bone marrow-developing B cells. We also analyzed regulatory T (Treg) cell function in patients with XLP and healthy control subjects. RESULTS: We found that new emigrant/transitional B cells from patients with XLP were enriched in autoreactive clones, revealing a defective central B-cell tolerance checkpoint in the absence of functional SAP. In agreement with a B cell-intrinsic regulation of central tolerance, we identified SAP expression in a discrete subset of bone marrow immature B cells. SAP colocalized with SLAMF6 only in association with clustered B-cell receptors likely recognizing self-antigens, suggesting that SLAM/SAP regulate B-cell receptor-mediated central tolerance. In addition, patients with XLP displayed defective peripheral B-cell tolerance, which is normally controlled by Treg cells. Treg cells in patients with XLP seem functional, but SAP-deficient T cells were resistant to Treg cell-mediated suppression. Indeed, SAP-deficient T cells were hyperresponsive to T-cell receptor stimulation, which resulted in increased secretion of IL-2, IFN-gamma, and TNF-alpha. CONCLUSIONS: SAP expression is required for the counterselection of developing autoreactive B cells and prevents their T cell-dependent accumulation in the periphery.

Type Journal
ISBN 1097-6825 (Electronic) 0091-6749 (Linking)
Authors Menard, L.; Cantaert, T.; Chamberlain, N.; Tangye, S. G.; Riminton, S.; Church, J. A.; Klion, A.; Cunningham-Rundles, C.; Nichols, K. E.; Meffre, E.;
Published Date 2014-01-01
Published Volume 133
Published Issue 4
Published Pages 1149-61
Status Published in-print
URL link to publisher's version
OpenAccess link to author's accepted manuscript version