Diversity Outbred Mice Reveal the Quantitative Trait Locus and Regulatory Cells of HER2 Immunity

Wei Zen Wei, Heather M. Gibson, Jennifer B. Jacob, Jeffrey A. Frelinger, Jay A. Berzofsky, Hoyoung Maeng, Gregory Dyson, Joyce D. Reyes, Shari Pilon-Thomas, Stuart Ratner, Kuang Chung Wei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The genetic basis and mechanisms of disparate antitumor immune response was investigated in Diversity Outbred (DO) F1 mice that express human HER2. DO mouse stock samples nearly the entire genetic repertoire of the species. We crossed DO mice with syngeneic HER2 transgenic mice to study the genetics of an anti-self HER2 response in a healthy outbred population. Anti-HER2 IgG was induced by Ad/E2TM or naked pE2TM, both encoding HER2 extracellular and transmembrane domains. The response of DO F1 HER2 transgenic mice was remarkably variable. Still, immune sera inhibited HER2+ SKBR3 cell survival in a dose-dependent fashion. Using DO quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis, we mapped the QTL that influences both total IgG and IgG2(a/b/c) Ab response to either Ad/E2TM or pE2TM. QTL from these four datasets identified a region in chromosome 17 that was responsible for regulating the response. A/J and NOD segments of genes in this region drove elevated HER2 Ig levels. This region is rich in MHC-IB genes, several of which interact with inhibitory receptors of NK cells. (B6xA/J)F1 and (B6xNOD)F1 HER2 transgenic mice received Ad/E2TM after NK cell depletion, and they produced less HER2 IgG, demonstrating positive regulatory function of NK cells. Depletion of regulatory T cells enhanced response. Using DO QTL analysis, we show that MHC-IB reactive NK cells exert positive influence on the immunity, countering negative regulation by regulatory T cells. This new, to our knowledge, DO F1 platform is a powerful tool for revealing novel immune regulatory mechanisms and for testing new interventional strategies. The Journal of Immunology, 2020, 205: 1554–1563.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1554-1563
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 15 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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