Aberrant production of IL-13 by T cells promotes exocrinopathy in Id3 knockout mice.
Elevated levels of the cytokine IL-13 has been found to be associated with autoimmune diseases, including Sjögren's Syndrome. However, whether IL-13 plays a causative role in disease development is not known and cannot be easily studied in humans. Our previous work has shown that levels of IL-13 are elevated in Id3 knockout mice, which has been established as a model for primary Sjögren's Syndrome. Here, we utilized an IL-13 reporter to determine the source of the elevated IL-13 levels observed in Id3 knockout mice and assess its contribution to SS pathology. Our results indicate that T cells, notably CD4 and γδ T cells, in Id3 knockout mice acquire IL-13 competency at an elevated rate well before disease symptoms become apparent. We also show that T cells developing early in life are more predisposed to produce IL-13. Finally, analysis of Id3 and IL-13 double deficient mice demonstrated that IL-13 plays an essential role in the deterioration of gland function. Our study provides crucial genetic evidence that enhanced IL-13 production by T cells can play a causative role in the exocrinopathy observed in Id3 knockout mice.
Belle, I; Mahlios, J; McKenzie, A; Zhuang, Y
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