Cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor Cdkn2c deficiency promotes B1a cell expansion and autoimmunity in a mouse model of lupus

Hari Hara S.K. Potula, Zhiwei Xu, Leilani Zeumer, Allison Sang, Byron P. Croker, Laurence Morel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The lupus-prone NZM2410 mice present an expanded B1a cell population that we have mapped to the Sle2c1 lupus susceptibility locus. The expression of Cdkn2c, a gene encoding for cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p18 Ink4c and located within Sle2c1, is significantly lower in B6.Sle2c1 B cells than in B6 B cells. To test the hypothesis that the B1a cell expansion in B6.Sle2c1 mice was due to a defective p18 expression, we analyzed the B1a cell phenotypes of p18-deficient C57BL/6 mice.We found a dose-dependent negative correlation between the number of B1a cells and p18 expression in B cells, with p18-deficient mice showing an early expansion of the peritoneal B1a cell pool. p18 deficiency enhanced the homeostatic expansion of B1a cells but not of splenic conventional B cells, and the elevated number of B6.Sle2c1 B1a cells was normalized by cyclin D2 deficiency. These data demonstrated that p18 is a key regulator of the size of the B1a cell pool. B6.p18-/- mice produced significant amounts of anti-DNA IgM and IgG, indicating that p18 deficiency contributes to humoral autoimmunity. Finally, we have shown that Sle2c1 increases lpr-associated lymphadenopathy and T cell-mediated pathology. B6.p18-/-.lpr mice showed a greater lymphadenopathy than B6.Sle2c1.lpr mice, but their renal pathology was intermediate between that of B6.lpr and B6.Sle2c1.lpr mice. This indicated that p18-deficiency synergizes, at least partially, with lpr-mediated pathology. These results show that Cdkn2c contributes to lupus susceptibility by regulating the size of the B1a cell compartment and hence their contribution to autoimmunity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2931-2940
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 15 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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