Sle2c1 is an NZM2410- and NZB-derived lupus susceptibility locus that induces an expansion of the B1a cell compartment. B1a cells have a repertoire enriched for autoreactivity, and an expansion of this B cell subset occurs in several mouse models of lupus. A combination of genetic mapping and candidate gene analysis presents Cdkn2c, a gene encoding for cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p18INK4c (p18), as the top candidate gene for inducing the Slec2c1-associated expansion of B1a cells. A novel single nucleotide polymorphism in the NZB allele of the Cdkn2c promoter is associated with a significantly reduced Cdkn2c expression in the splenic B cells and peritoneal cavity B1a cells from Sle2c1-carrying mice, which leads to a defective G1 cell cycle arrest in splenic B cells and increased proliferation of peritoneal cavity B1a cells. As the cell cycle is differentially regulated in B1a and B2 cells, these results suggest that Cdkn2c plays a critical role in B1a cell self-renewal and that its impaired expression leads to an accumulation of these cells with high autoreactive potential.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy