Maturation-dependent expression of AIM2 in human B-cells

PLoS One. 2017 Aug 15;12(8):e0183268. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0183268. eCollection 2017.


Intracellular DNA- and RNA-sensing receptors, such as the IFN-inducible protein Absent in Melanoma 2 (AIM2), serve as host sensors against a wide range of infections. Immune sensing and inflammasome activation by AIM2 has been implicated in innate antiviral recognition in many experimental systems using cell-lines and animal models. However, little is known about the expression and function of AIM2 in freshly isolated human cells. In this study we investigated the expression of AIM2 in different cell types derived from human cord and adult peripheral blood, in steady state and following in vitro-activation. Adult but not cord blood B-cells expressed high levels of AIM2 mRNA at steady state. In adults, AIM2 was primarily expressed in mature memory CD27+ B-cells. Both adult and cord blood derived B-cells could induce their transcription of AIM2 mRNA in response to type II IFN but not type I IFN or the AIM2 ligand poly dA:dT. Upon B-cell receptor stimulation, B-cells from adult blood expressed reduced levels of AIM2 mRNA. In addition, we show that adult B-cells were able to release IL-1β upon stimulation with synthetic DNA. We conclude that functional AIM2 is preferentially expressed in adult human CD27+ B-cells, but is absent in cord blood mononuclear cells.

MeSH terms

  • B-Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cells, Cultured
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-1alpha / metabolism
  • Interleukin-1beta / metabolism
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor Superfamily, Member 7 / metabolism


  • AIM2 protein, human
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Interleukin-1alpha
  • Interleukin-1beta
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor Superfamily, Member 7

Grant support

This work was supported from the Swedish research council: 2013-02954 och 2016-01767;; funding received by KE; Funding from Västra Götalandsregionen: ALFGBG-431371;; funding received by KE and the IngaBritt and Arne Lundberg Foundation; The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.