Cytokine gene expression and autoantibody production in Sjögren's syndrome of MRL/lpr mice

Autoimmunity. 1996;23(4):269-77. doi: 10.3109/08916939608995349.


In an attempt to elucidate the mechanism of development of organ-specific autoimmune lesions resembling human Sjögren's syndrome of MRL/lpr mice, we have analyzed local cytokine gene expressions and organ-specific autoantibody production in vivo. We have demonstrated that a major proportion of T cells bearing CD4 and V(beta)8 molecules are essentially responsible for triggering the autoimmunity in the salivary glands of MRL/lpr mice. The local cytokine gene expressions including interferon(IFN)-gamma, IL-12(p40) mRNAs were observed during the course of murine Sjogren's syndrome in MRL/lpr autoimmune strain. In particular, a high level of local expressions of IL-12 mRNA was detected earlier in the proinflammatory stage of autoimmune lesions. A significant level of local expression of MHC class-II(I-Ak) mRNA was detected before the onset of inflammatory lesions in the salivary glands, and I-Ak-positive epithelial duct cells were frequently observed in the salivary glands of MRL/lpr mice. In addition, we found the salivary gland-specific autoantibody in sera from MRL/lpr mice with early phase of autoimmune lesions by immunoblot analysis. These results suggest that cytokine gene stimulation and autoantibody production are essentially involved in the development of organ-specific autoimmune lesions in Sjögren's syndrome of MRL/lpr mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoantibodies / biosynthesis*
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis*
  • Cytokines / genetics*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation / immunology*
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / biosynthesis
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / genetics
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-12 / biosynthesis
  • Mice
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / genetics*
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / immunology*


  • Autoantibodies
  • Cytokines
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Interleukin-12
  • Interferon-gamma