Ikaros family of zinc-finger proteins, namely Aiolos, Helios and Ikaros, are hematopoietic-specific transcription factors involved in lymphocyte development. Aiolos-deficient mice develop SLE-like disease, and Ikaros family members have been linked to the balance between T cell activation and tolerance. To begin to investigate the role of Ikaros proteins in SLE, we first determined the expression of these proteins in spleen cells of NZM.2328 mice that develop disease that mimics human SLE in many ways, including a profound female bias. Results show that Aiolos expression in T cells is significantly lower than that in B cells from NZM.2328 mice. Similar reduction in Aiolos expressing T cells was observed in old lupus-prone MRL-MpJ-Fas+/+ compared to age-matched control B6 mice. Almost all B cells expressed Aiolos in all mice tested, but the expression level was much lower in MRL-MpJ+/+ B cells than in control B6 B cells. In contrast to Aiolos expression, T cells expressing Helios were 3-4-fold higher in old NZM.2328 females than in age-matched male and younger female mice. Ikaros expression was also higher on both T and B cells in older NZM.2328 females than in age-matched male and younger female mice. Ongoing studies will investigate the relationship of dysregulated Ikaros family molecules with lupus disease and examine the role of this dysregulation in female bias and lupus pathogenesis.
- Copyright © 2013 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.