DO (HLA-DO, in human; murine H2-O) is a highly conserved nonclassical major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC II) accessory molecule mainly expressed in the thymic medulla and B cells. Previous reports have suggested possible links between DO and autoimmunity, Hepatitis C (HCV) infection, and cancer, but the mechanism of how DO contributes to these diseases remains unclear. Here, using a combination of various in vivo approaches, including peptide elution, mixed lymphocyte reaction, T-cell receptor (TCR) deep sequencing, tetramer-guided naïve CD4 T-cell precursor enumeration, and whole-body imaging, we report that DO affects the repertoire of presented self-peptides by B cells and thymic epithelium. DO induces differential effects on epitope presentation and thymic selection, thereby altering CD4 T-cell precursor frequencies. Our findings were validated in two autoimmune disease models by demonstrating that lack of DO increases autoreactivity and susceptibility to autoimmune disease development.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)