Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) is a transcription factor that regulates lipid and glucose metabolism. Although studies of PPARγ ligands have demonstrated its regulatory functions in inflammation and adaptive immunity, its intrinsic role in T cells and autoimmunity has yet to be fully elucidated. Here we used CD4- PPARγKO mice to investigate PPARγ-deficient T cells, which were hyper-reactive to produce higher levels of cytokines and exhibited greater proliferation than wild type T cells with increased ERK and AKT phosphorylation. Diminished expression of IκBα, Sirt1, and Foxo1, which are inhibitors of NF-κB, was observed in PPARγ-deficient T cells that were prone to produce all the signature cytokines under Th1, Th2, Th17, and Th9 skewing condition. Interestingly, 1-year-old CD4- PPARγKO mice spontaneously developed moderate autoimmune phenotype by increased activated T cells, follicular helper T cells (T FH cells) and germinal center B cells with glomerular inflammation and enhanced autoantibody production. Sheep red blood cell immunization more induced TFH cells and germinal centers in CD4- PPARγKO mice and the T cells showed increased of Bcl-6 and IL-21 expression suggesting its regulatory role in germinal center reaction. Collectively, these results suggest that PPARγ has a regulatory role for TFH cells and germinal center reaction to prevent autoimmunity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)