Fas and Fas ligand expression in the salivary glands of patients with primary Sjogren's syndrome

Liping Kong, Noriyoshi Ogawa, Toru Nakabayashi, George T. Liu, Errol D'Souza, H. Stan Mcguff, Daniel Guerrero, Norman Talal, Howard Dang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

196 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective. To assess the role of Fas-mediated apoptosis in the salivary glands of patients with primary Sjogren's syndrome (SS). Methods. Expression of Fas, Fas ligand (FasL), and bcl-2 in salivary gland biopsy material was detected in situ by immunohistochemical staining and reverse transcriptase- polymerase chain reaction. DNA fragmentation in apoptotic cells was assessed by the enzymatic incorporation of labeled nucleotides (digoxigenin-dUTP). Results. The acinar epithelial cells in SS were Fas+ and FasL+, and these cells died by apoptosis. The majority of infiltrating lymphocytes in SS were Fas+ and bcl-2+, while few lymphocytes expressed FasL. In situ detection of apoptosis showed minimal cell death of lymphocytes, particularly in dense periductal foci. Lymphocytic cell death was significantly lower (P < 0.0001) in these foci compared with that in the interstitium. Conclusion. Infiltrating lymphocytes in the focal lesions of the salivary glands of patients with SS are blocked in their ability to commit to apoptosis, even though they may express Fas. The presence of bcl-2 in these cells may explain their inability to undergo apoptosis. The acinar epithelial cells, in contrast, may undergo Fas-mediated apoptosis. These results suggest that the Fas death pathway may be an important mechanism leading to the glandular destruction found in SS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-97
Number of pages11
JournalArthritis and rheumatism
Volume40
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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