alexa Monocytes from Sjögren's syndrome patients display increased vasoactive intestinal peptide receptor 2 expression and impaired apoptotic cell phagocytosis


Journal of Clinical & Experimental Neuroimmunology

Author(s): Hauk V, Fraccaroli L, Grasso E, Eimon A, Ramhorst R

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Sjögren's syndrome (SS) is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by salivary and lacrimal gland dysfunction. Clinical observations and results from animal models of SS support the role of aberrant epithelial cell apoptosis and immune homeostasis loss in the glands as triggering factors for the autoimmune response. Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) promotes potent anti-inflammatory effects in several inflammatory and autoimmune disease models, including the non-obese diabetic (NOD) mouse model of SS. With the knowledge that VIP modulates monocyte function through vasoactive intestinal peptide receptors (VPAC) and that immune homeostasis maintenance depends strongly upon a rapid and immunosuppressant apoptotic cell clearance by monocytes/macrophages, in this study we explored VPAC expression on monocytes from primary SS (pSS) patients and the ability of VIP to modulate apoptotic cell phagocytic function and cytokine profile. Monocytes isolated from individual pSS patients showed an increased expression of VPAC2 subtype of VIP receptors, absent in monocytes from control subjects, with no changes in VPAC1 expression. VPAC2 receptor expression could be induced further with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in pSS monocytes and VIP inhibited the effect. Moreover, monocytes from pSS patients showed an impaired phagocytosis of apoptotic epithelial cells, as evidenced by reduced engulfment ability and the failure to promote an immunosuppressant cytokine profile. However, VIP neither modulated monocyte/macrophage phagocytic function nor did it reverse their inflammatory profile. We conclude that monocytes from pSS patients express high levels of VPAC2 and display a deficient clearance of apoptotic cells that is not modulated by VIP.

This article was published in Clin Exp Immunol. and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Neuroimmunology

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