APL1, an altered peptide ligand derived from human heat-shock protein 60, increases the frequency of Tregs and its suppressive capacity against antigen responding effector CD4 + T cells from rheumatoid arthritis patients

Ariana Barberá, Noraylis Lorenzo, Peter van Kooten, Joel van Roon, Wilco de Jager, Dinorah Prada, Jorge Gómez, Gabriel Padrón, Willem van Eden, Femke Broere, María Del Carmen Domínguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic autoimmune disease characterized by a chronic relapsing-remitting joint inflammation. Perturbations in the balance between CD4 + T cells producing IL-17 and CD4 + CD25(high)FoxP3 + Tregs correlate with irreversible bone and cartilage destruction in RA. APL1 is an altered peptide ligand derived from a CD4+ T-cell epitope of human HSP60, an autoantigen expressed in the inflamed synovium, which increases the frequency of CD4 + CD25(high)FoxP3+ Tregs in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from RA patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the suppressive capacity of Tregs induced by APL1 on proliferation of effector CD4+ T cells using co-culture experiments. Enhanced Treg-mediated suppression was observed in APL1-treated cultures compared with cells cultured only with media. Subsequent analyses using autologous cross-over experiments showed that the enhanced Treg suppression in APL1-treated cultures could reflect increased suppressive function of Tregs against APL1-responsive T cells. On the other hand, APL1-treatment had a significant effect reducing IL-17 levels produced by effector CD4+ T cells. Hence, this peptide has the ability to increase the frequency of Tregs and their suppressive properties whereas effector T cells produce less IL-17. Thus, we propose that APL1 therapy could help to ameliorate the pathogenic Th17/Treg balance in RA patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)735-744
Number of pages10
JournalCell Stress & Chaperones
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016

Keywords

  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Heat shock protein 60
  • Altered peptide ligands
  • Regulatory T cells

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