The Importance of IL-6 in the Development of LAT-Mediated Autoimmunity.
Linker for activation of T cells (LAT) is a transmembrane adaptor protein that is highly tyrosine phosphorylated upon engagement of the TCR. Phosphorylated LAT binds Grb2, Gads, and phospholipase C (PLC)γ1 to mediate T cell activation, proliferation, and cytokine production. T cells from mice harboring a mutation at the PLCγ1 binding site of LAT (Y136F) have impaired calcium flux and Erk activation. Interestingly, these T cells are highly activated, resulting in the development of a lymphoproliferative syndrome in these mice. CD4(+) T cells in LATY136F mice are Th2 skewed, producing large amounts of IL-4. In this study, we showed that the LATY136F T cells could also overproduce IL-6 due to activated NF-κB, AKT, and p38 pathways. By crossing LATY136F mice with IL-6-deficient mice, we demonstrated that IL-6 is required for uncontrolled T cell expansion during the early stage of disease development. Reduced CD4(+) T cell expansion was not due to a further block in thymocyte development or an increase in the number of regulatory T cells, but was caused by reduction in cell survival. In aged IL-6(-/-) LATY136F mice, CD4(+) T cells began to hyperproliferate and induced splenomegaly; however, isotype switching and autoantibody production were diminished. Our data indicated that the LAT-PLCγ1 interaction is important for controlling IL-6 production by T cells and demonstrated a critical role of IL-6 in the development of this lymphoproliferative syndrome.
O'Brien, SA; Zhu, M; Zhang, W
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