Efficient apoptotic cell clearance and induction of immunologic tolerance is a critical mechanism preventing autoimmunity and associated pathology. Our laboratory has reported that apoptotic cells induce tolerance by a mechanism dependent on the tryptophan catabolizing enzyme indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase 1 (IDO1) in splenic macrophages (MPdbl). The metabolic-stress sensing protein kinase GCN2 is a primary downstream effector of IDO1; thus, we tested its role in apoptotic cell-driven immune suppression. In vitro, expression of IDO1 in MPdbls significantly enhanced apoptotic celldriven IL-10 and suppressed IL-12 production in a GCN2-dependent mechanism. Suppression of IL-12 protein production was due to attenuation of IL-12 mRNA association with polyribosomes inhibiting translation while IL-10 mRNA association with polyribosomes was not affected. In vivo, apoptotic cell challenge drove a rapid, GCN2-dependent stress response in splenic MPdbls with increased IL-10 and TGF-β production, whereas myeloid-specific deletion of GCN2 abrogated regulatory cytokine production with provocation of inflammatory T-cell responses to apoptotic cell antigens and failure of long-tolerance induction. Consistent with a role in prevention of apoptotic cell driven autoreactivity, myeloid deletion of GCN2 in lupus-prone mice resulted in increased immune cell activation, humoral autoimmunity, renal pathology, and mortality. In contrast, activation of GCN2 with an agonist significantly reduced anti-DNA autoantibodies and protected mice from disease. Thus, this study implicates a key role for GCN2 signals in regulating the tolerogenic response to apoptotic cells and limiting autoimmunity.
|Number of pages
|Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
|Published - Aug 25 2015
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