Chemokine receptors on dendritic cells promote autoimmune reactions.

Joost J. Oppenheim, D. Yang, Arya Biragyn, O. M Zack Howard, Paul Plotz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


This paper presents a brief review of several lines of evidence suggesting that chemokine receptors on dendritic cells play an important role in breaking tolerance to self and in inducing autoimmunity. First, we have shown that an idiotypic self-antigen obtained from malignant murine lymphomas, when covalently linked to selected chemokines or defensins that interact with receptors on immature dendritic cells (iDCs), has the capacity to break tolerance to self and induce humoral or cell-mediated anti-tumor responses. Since unlinked antigens mixed with the same chemokines or defensins or antigens fused with a mutant ligand deficient in receptor-binding capacity were not immunogenic, we propose that delivery of an antigen coupled to a ligand for receptors on iDCs promotes the processing and subsequent presentation of the antigen, resulting in immunoadjuvant effects. In a second study, we observed that two of five aminoacyl tRNA synthetases (aaRSs) - which act as autoantigens to which some patients with myositis have autoantibodies - were chemotactic for activated monocytes, T cells, and iDCs. These aaRSs interacted with either CC chemokine receptor (CCR)5 or CCR3, as was shown by desensitization with chemokines and the response of cell lines transfected with the chemokine receptor. Presumably, these autoantigens therefore have the capacity to attract inflammatory cells, including iDCs, to infiltrate affected muscle cells. These observations suggest the hypothesis that antigens delivered to receptors on iDCs are potent immunogens capable of breaking self-tolerance to tumor antigens to induce autoimmune diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalArthritis Research
Volume4 Suppl 3
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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