The role of DNA as the target for pathogenic lupus autoantibodies in systemic lupus erythematosus is equivocal and renal damage may be due to cross-reactivity of lupus Abs with glomerular component. We have previously shown that lupus autoantibodies bind to the laminin component of the extracellular matrix. In the present work, we have analyzed the fine specificity of the interaction of pathogenic murine lupus autoantibodies with this molecule and the effect of inhibiting their binding to laminin during the course of the disease. We have found that pathogenic murine lupus autoantibodies react with a 21-mer peptide located in the globular part of the α-chain of laminin. Immunization of young lupus-prone mice with this peptide accelerated renal disease. Analysis of transgenic, congenic, and RAG-1-/- mice confirmed the importance of this epitope in the pathogenesis of lupus renal disease. We have synthesized a panel of peptides that cross-react with the anti-laminin Abs and have found that the binding of lupus autoantibodies to the extracellular matrix could be inhibited in vitro by some of these competitive peptides. Treatment of MRL/lpr/lpr mice with these peptides prevented Ab deposition in the kidneys, ameliorated renal disease, and prolonged survival of the peptide-treated mice. We suggest that laminin components can serve as the target for lupus Abs. The interaction with these Ags can explain both the tissue distribution and the immunopathological findings in lupus. Moreover, inhibition of autoantibody binding to the extracellular matrix can lead to suppression of disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy