CD45 and Fas regulate tyrosine phosphorylation and apoptotic signaling pathways, respectively. Mutation of an inhibitory wedge motif in CD45 (E613R) results in hyperre- sponsive thymocytes and B cells on the C57BL/6 background, but no overt autoimmunity, whereas Fas deletion results in a mild autoimmune disease on the same genetic background. In this study, we show that these two mutations cooperate in mice, causing early lethality, autoantibody production, and substantial lymphoproliferation. In double-mutant mice, this phenotype was dependent on both T and B cells. T cell activation required signaling in response to endogenous or commensal antigens, demonstrated by the introduction of a transgenic T cell receptor. Genetic deletion of B cells also prevented T cell activation. Similarly, T cells were necessary for B cell autoantibody production. However, B cells appeared to be intrinsically activated even in the absence of T cells, suggesting that they may drive the phenotype of these mice. These results reveal a requirement for careful control of B cell signaling and cell death in preventing inappropriate lymphocyte activation and autoimmunity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy