Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is associated with the presence of certain HLA class II genes. However, why some individuals carrying RA non-associated alleles develop arthritis is still unexplained. The trans-heterodimer between two RA non-associated HLA genes can render susceptibility to develop arthritis in humanized mice, DQA1*0103/DQB1*0604, suggesting a role for DQ α chains in pathogenesis. In this study we determined the role of DQA1 in arthritis by using mice expressing DQA1*0103 and lacking endogenous class II molecules. Proximity ligation assay showed that DQA1*0103 is expressed on the cell surface as a dimer with CD74. Upon immunization with type II collagen, DQA1*0103 mice generated an antigen-specific cellular and humoral response and developed severe arthritis. Structural modelling suggests that DQA1*0103/CD74 form a pocket with similarity to the antigen binding pocket. DQA1*0103 mice present type II collagen-derived peptides that are not presented by an arthritis-resistant DQA1*0103/DQB1*0601 allele, suggesting that the DQA1*0103/CD74 dimer may result in presentation of unique antigens and susceptibility to develop arthritis. The present data provide a possible explanation by which the DQA1 molecule contributes to susceptibility to develop arthritis.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|State||Published - Feb 1 2016|
- Humanized mice
- Rheumatoid arthritis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy