Objective: To elucidate the mechanism of the development of T cell infiltrates in the salivary glands of patients with Sjögren's syndrome (SS), we studied T cell-attracting chemokines and their receptors.
Methods: The expression of the T cell-attracting chemokines, interferon-gamma (IFNgamma)-inducible 10-kd protein (IP-10; also called CXCL10), monokine induced by IFNgamma (Mig; also called CXCL9), and stromal cell-derived factor 1 (SDF-1; also called CXCL12), in salivary glands from SS patients was investigated by polymerase chain reaction-enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Cells that produce chemokines and lymphocytes that express chemokine receptors were identified by immunohistochemistry. The production of IP-10 and Mig proteins by salivary epithelial cells in response to IFNgamma was determined by ELISA.
Results: Expression of IP-10 and Mig messenger RNA (mRNA) was significantly up-regulated in SS salivary glands compared with normal salivary glands (both P < 0.01). There was no significant difference in SDF-1 mRNA expression between the SS and normal salivary glands. IP-10 and Mig proteins were predominantly expressed in the ductal epithelium adjacent to lymphoid infiltrates. Most of the CD3+ infiltrating lymphocytes in dense periductal foci expressed CXCR3, the receptor for IP-10 and Mig. IFNgamma induced the production of high levels of IP-10 and Mig proteins from cultured SS salivary epithelial cells.
Conclusion: These findings suggest that IFNgamma stimulates the production of IP-10 and Mig in the SS ductal epithelium, and that IP-10 and Mig are involved in the accumulation of T cell infiltrates in the SS salivary gland. Chemokines or chemokine receptors could be a rational new therapeutic target in SS.