Proteinuria, anti-dsDNA autoantibodies and immune complex deposits could not be detected in young (2 months old) mice. CD74 acts as a mediator of B-cell proliferation and survival by initiating a signalling cascade following
MIF binding.17,19 We therefore determined the CD74 mRNA levels in B cells from 8-month-old SLE-afflicted mice with established disease (defined as 100%) in comparison with its levels in B cells from 2-month-old young, healthy control mice. As shown in Fig. 1(a), Buparlisib datasheet CD74 mRNA levels were significantly elevated in the B cells of SLE-afflicted mice compared with its levels in the cells of young mice. The levels of CD74 in B cells of mice with SLE were further determined at the protein level by Western blotting. The results of a representative blot of CD74 from three experiments performed are presented in Fig. 1(b). CD74 protein levels were elevated in B cells derived from SLE-afflicted mice compared with those of young healthy controls. CD44 was found to be essential for the MIF-induced signalling cascade.22,23 It was of interest to determine whether the expression of CD44 required for the CD74-induced cascade19 is also up-regulated in the SLE-diseased mice and whether their ligand, MIF, is similarly affected. Furthermore, the ability of hCDR1 to immunomodulate the latter molecules was studied. To this end, RNA was extracted from purified spleen-derived B cells of mice
from vehicle, hCDR1 or control peptide-treated selleck compound library very mice, obtained at the end of the experiments, and was examined by real-time reverse transcription-PCR. Figure 2 presents the percentage gene expression of MIF and its receptor complex components (CD74 and CD44) in the three treatment groups. The figure shows that treatment with hCDR1 significantly down-regulated the expression levels of
the studied molecules, whereas treatment with the control peptide either did not affect their expression or slightly up-regulated the expression (in the case of MIF). Western blot analysis, shown in Fig. 3(a), confirmed that, in agreement with the mRNA expression levels, treatment with hCDR1 resulted in reduced expression of CD74 protein in B lymphocytes, compared with the expression of the latter in vehicle and control peptide-treated mice. We also examined the cell surface expression of the receptor complex components CD74 and CD44 on B cells from spleens of BWF1 mice that were treated with hCDR1 or vehicle only, using flow cytometry. As shown in Fig. 3(b), B cells derived from hCDR1-treated mice expressed lower cell surface levels of CD74 (13·8%) and CD44 (30·4%) compared with B cells from the vehicle-treated mice (23·8% and 39%, respectively). Figure 3(c) shows the significant down-regulation in the mean percentage change, determined in three individual experiments, of surface expression of CD74 and CD44 in B cells from SLE-afflicted mice following hCDR1 treatment compared with vehicle-treated mice.