Although SWI3-related gene (SRG3), a chromatin remodeling factor, is critical for various biological processes including early embryogenesis and thymocyte development, it is unclear whether SRG3 is involved in the differentiation of CD4+ T cells, the key mediator of adaptive immune responses. Because it is known that experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) development is determined by the activation of CD4+ T helper cells, here, we investigated the role of SRG3 in EAE development using SRG3 transgenic mouse models exhibiting two distinct SRG3 expression patterns: SRG3 expression driven by either the CD2 or β-actin promoter. We found that the outcome of EAE development was completely different depending on the expression pattern of SRG3. The specific over-expression of SRG3 using the CD2 promoter facilitated EAE via the induction of Th1 and Th17 cells, whereas the ubiquitous over-expression of SRG3 using the β-actin promoter inhibited EAE by promoting Th2 differentiation and suppressing Th1 and Th17 differentiation. In addition, the ubiquitous over-expression of SRG3 polarized CD4+ T cell differentiation towards the Th2 phenotype by converting dendritic cells (DCs) or macrophages to Th2 types. SRG3 over-expression not only reduced pro-inflammatory cytokine production by DCs but also shifted macrophages from the inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS)-expressing M1 phenotype to the arginase-1-expressing M2 phenotype during EAE. In addition, Th2 differentiation in β-actin-SRG3 Tg mice during EAE was associated with an increase in the basophil and mast cell populations and in IL4 production. Furthermore, the increased frequency of Treg cells in the spinal cord of β-actin-SRG3 Tg mice might induce the suppression of and accelerate the recovery from EAE symptoms. Taken together, our results provide the first evidence supporting the development of a new therapeutic strategy for EAE involving the modulation of SRG3 expression to induce M2 and Th2 polarization, thereby inhibiting inflammatory immune responses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)