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Suppression of systemic autoimmunity by the innate immune adaptor STING

  • Sharma, Shrutie
  • Campbell, Allison M.
  • Chan, Jennie
  • Schattgen, Stefan A.
  • Orlowski, Gregory M.
  • Nayar, Ribhu
  • Huyler, Annie H.
  • Nundel, Kerstin
  • Mohan, Chandra
  • Berg, Leslie J.
  • Shlomchik, Mark J.
  • Marshak-Rothstein, Ann
  • Fitzgerald, Katherine A.
Publication Date
Feb 17, 2015
[email protected]
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Cytosolic DNA-sensing pathways that signal via Stimulator of interferon genes (STING) mediate immunity to pathogens and also promote autoimmune pathology in DNaseII- and DNaseIII-deficient mice. In contrast, we report here that STING potently suppresses inflammation in a model of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Lymphoid hypertrophy, autoantibody production, serum cytokine levels, and other indicators of immune activation were markedly increased in STING-deficient autoimmune-prone mice compared with STING-sufficient littermates. As a result, STING-deficient autoimmune-prone mice had significantly shorter lifespans than controls. Importantly, Toll-like receptor (TLR)-dependent systemic inflammation during 2,6,10,14-tetramethylpentadecane (TMPD)-mediated peritonitis was similarly aggravated in STING-deficient mice. Mechanistically, STING-deficient macrophages failed to express negative regulators of immune activation and thus were hyperresponsive to TLR ligands, producing abnormally high levels of proinflammatory cytokines. This hyperreactivity corresponds to dramatically elevated numbers of inflammatory macrophages and granulocytes in vivo. Collectively these findings reveal an unexpected negative regulatory role for STING, having important implications for STING-directed therapies.

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