Session Title: 4M120: SLE – Clinical IV: Lupus Nephritis (1914–1919)
Session Type: ACR Abstract Session
Session Time: 4:30PM-6:00PM
Background/Purpose: Null mutations in DNASE1L3 cause severe familial SLE with prominent anti-DNA antibodies (Abs), suggesting that DNASE1L3 is a key driver of tolerance to DNA. Indeed, DNASE1L3-deficient mice rapidly develop anti-chromatin and anti-DNA Abs followed by renal involvement. DNASE1L3 is a secreted DNase that has the preferential capacity to digest DNA within nucleosomes and/or encapsulated by membranes. Our previous studies suggest that chromatin carried by circulating apoptotic microparticles (MP) is an important physiological substrate of DNASE1L3. Accordingly, the present study was initiated to address the hypothesis that dysfunction of DNASE1L3 and its downstream consequences contribute to the development of sporadic human SLE.
Methods: Reactivity to DNASE1L3-sensitive antigens on MP was measured by incubating plasma samples with control or DNASE1L3-treated MP and analyzing IgG binding to MP by flow cytometry. DNASE1L3 activity was measured based on its preferential capacity to digest complex DNA substrates with the readout expressed as the fraction of activity measured in healthy control subjects. The DNA load of MP was measured by qPCR of genomic DNA purified from the MP and MP-depleted fractions of plasma. In considering a spectrum from benign to clinical autoimmunity, subjects included those with active biopsy proven lupus nephritis as well as those with anti-Ro antibodies absent SLE.
Results: IgG-binding to MP was assessed in 116 SLE patients, 45 anti-Ro Ab-positive mothers whose children have neonatal lupus (17 asymptomatic or having an undifferentiated autoimmune syndrome, 2 SLE, 12 SS, 14 SLE/SS) and 16 healthy controls. IgG-reactivity to MP was not detected in any healthy controls. In contrast, 36% of SLE patients showed IgG binding to MP reversed by DNASE1L3 pretreatment (DNASE1L3-senstive reactivity). Only two of these patients were heterozygous for the known hypomorphic DNASE1L3 (R206C) variant. DNASE1L3-sensitive reactivity correlated with anti-dsDNA Abs (p< .0001) but did not overlap, indicating that reactivity is directed to more complex DNA. DNASE1L3-sensitive reactivity correlated with active proteinuria (p=.0003), low complement levels (p=.01) and overall SLEDAI (p< .0001). Among 45 anti-Ro-positive mothers, all were unreactive except the only 2 SLE mothers that developed lupus nephritis. The DNA load of MP and DNASE1L3 activity were assessed in a subset of SLE patients (n=40). Of these, patients with proteinuria showed lower plasma DNASE1L3 activity (p=.034) than those without proteinuria (Fig. 1). Moreover, increased partitioning of plasma DNA into MP correlated with reduced DNASE1L3 activity, and both parameters strongly correlated with DNASE1L3-sensitive IgG binding to MPs (p< 0.0001) (Fig. 2).
Conclusion: The activity of plasma DNASE1L3 is reduced in a significant fraction of SLE patients with renal disorder unrelated to a genetic explanation and is associated with DNA accumulation in MP targeted by Abs. Collectively, these data suggest that digestion of circulating chromatin by DNASE1L3 is a fundamental mechanism of tolerance to DNA which when disrupted may lead to sporadic SLE, particularly lupus nephritis.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Hartl J, Clancy R, Izmirly P, Belmont H, Trad C, Bornkamp N, Sisirak V, Sally B, Buyon J, Reizis B. Reduced DNASE1L3 Activity in Sporadic SLE Is Linked to Increased DNA Load of Microparticles, Reactivity to DNASE1L3-sensitive Antigens, and Lupus Nephritis [abstract]. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2019; 71 (suppl 10). https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/reduced-dnase1l3-activity-in-sporadic-sle-is-linked-to-increased-dna-load-of-microparticles-reactivity-to-dnase1l3-sensitive-antigens-and-lupus-nephritis/. Accessed August 9, 2020.
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