Sex differences in Tfh cell help to B cells contribute to sexual dimorphism in severity of rat collagen-induced arthritis.
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The study examined germinal centre (GC) reaction in lymph nodes draining inflamed joints and adjacent tissues (dLNs) in male and female Dark Agouti rat collagen type II (CII)-induced arthritis (CIA) model of rheumatoid arthritis. Female rats exhibiting the greater susceptibility to CIA mounted stronger serum CII-specific IgG response than their male counterparts. This correlated with the higher frequency of GC B cells in female compared with male dLNs. Consistently, the frequency of activated/proliferating Ki-67+ cells among dLN B cells was higher in females than in males. This correlated with the shift in dLN T follicular regulatory (Tfr)/T follicular helper (Tfh) cell ratio towards Tfh cells in females, and greater densities of CD40L and CD40 on their dLN T and B cells, respectively. The higher Tfh cell frequency in females was consistent with the greater dLN expression of mRNA for IL-21/27, the key cytokines involved in Tfh cell generation and their help to B cells. Additionally, in CII-stimulated female rat dLN cell cultures IFN-γ/IL-4 production ratio was shifted towards IFN-γ. Consistently, the serum IgG2a(b)/IgG1 CII-specific antibody ratio was shifted towards an IgG2a(b) response in females. Thus, targeting T-/B-cell interactions should be considered in putative further sex-based translational pharmacology research.
Keywords:Autoimmunity; Rheumatic diseases
Source:Scientific Reports, 2020, 10, 1, 1214-