We investigate as yet an unidentified role of NOX1, a non-phagocytic isoform of the superoxide-generating NADPH oxidase, in immune responses using Nox1-knockout mice (Nox1-KO). The transcripts of NOX1 was expressed in lymphoid tissues, including the spleen, thymus, bone marrow, and inguinal lymphoid nodes. When antibody production after ovalbumin (OVA) immunization was examined, no significant differences were observed in serum anti-OVA IgG levels between wild-type mice (WT) and Nox1-KO. In the experimental asthma, the infiltration of eosinophils and the Th2 cytokine response after the induction of asthma with OVA were similar between the two genotypes. However, the severity and incidence of experimental collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) following the administration of a low dose of endotoxin (LPS) were significantly lower in Nox1-KO. While neither serum levels of autoantibodies nor in vitro cytokine responses were affected by Nox1 deficiency, NOX1 mRNA levels in the spleen significantly increased after the LPS challenge. Among the spleen cells, remarkable LPS-induced upregulation of NOX1 was demonstrated in both CD11b+ monocytes/macrophages and CD11c+ dendritic cells, suggesting that LPS-inducible NOX1 in monocytes/macrophages/dendritic cells may modulate the development of experimental CIA. Therapeutic targeting of NOX1 may therefore control the onset and/or severity of arthritis which is exacerbated by bacterial infection.
Keywords: Arthritis; Endotoxin; LPS; NADPH oxidase; Reactive oxygen species.
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