Altered expression and function of the Toll-like receptor (TLR) homologue CD180 molecule in B cells have been associated with autoimmune disorders. In this study, we report decreased expression of CD180 at protein and mRNA levels in peripheral blood B cells of diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis (dcSSc) patients. To analyze the effect of CD180 stimulation, together with CpG (TLR9 ligand) treatment, on the phenotype defined by CD19/CD27/IgD/CD24/CD38 staining, and function (CD69 and CD180 expression, cytokine and antibody secretion) of B cell subpopulations, we used tonsillar B cells. After stimulation, we found reduced expression of CD180 protein and mRNA in total B cells, and CD180 protein in B cell subpopulations. The frequency of CD180+ cells was the highest in the CD19+CD27+IgD+ non-switched (NS) B cell subset, and they showed the strongest activation after anti-CD180 stimulation. Furthermore, B cell activation via CD180 induced IL-6 and natural autoantibody secretion. Treatment with the combination of anti-CD180 antibody and CpG resulted in increased IL-6 and IL-10 secretion and natural autoantibody production of B cells. Our results support the role of CD180 in the induction of natural autoantibody production, possibly by NS B cells, and suggest an imbalance between the pathologic and natural autoantibody production in SSc patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry