Decay accelerating factor (DAF) plays a complex role in the immune system through complement-dependent and -independent regulation of innate and adaptive immunity. Over the past five years there has been accumulating evidence for a significant role of DAF in negatively regulating adaptive T-cell responses and autoimmunity in both humans and experimental models. This review discusses the relationship between DAF and the complement system and highlights major advances in our understanding of the biology of DAF in human disease, particularly systemic lupus erythematosus. The role of DAF in regulation of idiopathic and environmentally induced systemic autoimmunity is discussed including studies showing that reduction or absence of DAF is associated with autoimmunity. In contrast, DAF-mediated T cell activation leads to cytokine expression consistent with T regulatory cells. This is supported by studies showing that interaction between DAF and its molecular partner, CD97, modifies expression of autoimmunity promoting cytokines. These observations are used to develop a hypothetical model to explain how DAF expression may impact T cell differentiation via interaction with CD97 leading to T regulatory cells, increased production of IL-10, and immune tolerance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Immunology and Microbiology (miscellaneous)