Effects of the murine genotype on T cell activation and cytokine production in murine mercury-induced autoimmunity

U Johansson, B Sander, P Hultman
Journal of Autoimmunity 1997, 10 (4): 347-55
Mercury induces a systemic autoimmune condition characterized by auto-antibodies to the nucleolar protein fibrillarin (AFA) and systemic immune-complex (IC) deposits in genetically susceptible mouse strains. This study examines T cell activation and cytokine production following mercury exposure in genetically susceptible and resistant strains. Mercury injected s.c., according to the protocol for induction of autoimmunity, caused an early T cell activation, measured as an increase of IL-2-producing cells, and increased expression of the IL-2-receptor proteins CD25 and CD122 and of the proliferation marker CD71 on days 2-4 in the susceptible A.SW and A. TH strains. This was followed by a long-lasting increase in the number of T cells, dominated by CD4(+) cells. Mice of the susceptible A.SW strain showed a modest increase of TNF-alpha-, IFN-gamma-, and IL-4-producing cells after 4-6 days, and a very distinct increase of IL-4-producing cells on days 8-10. The susceptible SJL strain (H-2(s)), severely deficient in Th2-promoting CD4(+), NK1.1(+) T cells, showed no increase of IL-4(+) cells on days 8-10. Instead, the number of IFN-gamma-producing cells was increased. Susceptible mice developed an increase of Ig-producing cells, AFA, and systemic IC-deposits. Genetically mercury-resistant A.TL mice showed a minimal increase of T cells, but no increase in cytokine-producing cells. We conclude that autoimmunogenic doses of HgCl2 induce an activation and proliferation of T cells in genetically susceptible mouse strains, as well as a broad increase of cytokine-producing cells, followed by a late predominance of the Th2-associated IL-4. One strain, severely deficient in Th2-promoting CD4(+), NK1.1(+) T cells, lacked the increase in IL-4(+) cells, indicating that a predominantly Th2-response is not necessary for induction of autoimmunity by mercury. However, a Th2-dominated response led to a faster and stronger B cell activation.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"