Reduction of circulating innate lymphoid cell progenitors results in impaired cytokine production by innate lymphoid cells in patients with lupus nephritis

Seungwon Ryu, Eun Young Lee, Dong Ki Kim, Yon Su Kim, Doo Hyun Chung, Ji Hyung Kim, Hajeong Lee, Hye Young Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) play an essential role in maintaining homeostasis; however, they can also cause chronic inflammation and autoimmune disease. This study aimed to identify the role of ILCs in the pathogenesis of lupus nephritis (LN). Methods: The percentage of ILCs within the peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) population and urine of patients with LN (n = 16), healthy controls (HC; n = 8), and disease controls (ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV; n = 6), IgA nephropathy (IgAN; n = 9), and other glomerular diseases (n = 5)) was determined by flow cytometry analysis. In addition, ILCs were sorted and cultured with plasma from LN patients or HC to elucidate whether the reduced population of CD117+ ILCs observed in LN was due to changes in the ILC progenitor population. Results: The percentage of total ILCs and CD117+ ILCs in LN was significantly lower than that in HC. The percentage of cytokine-secreting ILCs was also lower in LN; however, when the disease stabilized, cytokine production was restored to levels similar to those in HC. The increase in the number of exhausted ILCs (cells unable to secrete cytokines) correlated positively with disease activity. When CD117+ ILCs were cultured with LN plasma, the number of CD117+ ILCs fell, but that of other ILC subsets increased. Conclusions: The percentage of CD117+ ILCs and the capacity of ILCs to secrete cytokines fell as LN severity increased, suggesting that an inflammatory environment of LN induces persistent differentiation and exhaustion of ILCs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number63
JournalArthritis Research and Therapy
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar 29

Keywords

  • Autoimmune kidney disease
  • Cytokine
  • Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs)
  • Lupus nephritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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