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A granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor and interleukin-15 fusokine induces a regulatory B cell population with immune suppressive properties.

Rafei M, Hsieh J, Zehntner S, Li M, Forner K, Birman E, Boivin MN, Young YK, Perreault C, Galipeau J

The Montreal Center for Experimental Therapeutics in Cancer, Jewish General Hospital, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.

We have previously shown that a granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and interleukin-15 (IL-15) 'fusokine' (GIFT15) exerts immune suppression via aberrant signaling through the IL-15 receptor on lymphomyeloid cells. We show here that ex vivo GIFT15 treatment of mouse splenocytes generates suppressive regulatory cells of B cell ontogeny (hereafter called GIFT15 B(reg) cells). Arising from CD19+ B cells, GIFT15 B(reg) cells express major histocompatibility complex class I (MHCI) and MHCII, surface IgM and IgD, and secrete IL-10, akin to previously described B10 and T2-MZP B(reg) cells, but lose expression of the transcription factor PAX5, coupled to upregulation of CD138 and reciprocal suppression of CD19. Mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis went into complete remission after intravenous infusion of GIFT15 B(reg) cells paralleled by suppressed neuroinflammation. The clinical effect was abolished when GIFT15 B(reg) cells were derived from mmicroMT (lacking B cells), MHCII-knockout, signal transducer and activator of transcription-6 (STAT-6)-knockout, IL-10-knockout or allogeneic splenocytes, consistent with a pivotal role for MHCII and IL-10 by sygeneic B cells for the observed therapeutic effect. We propose that autologous GIFT15 B(reg) cells may serve as a new treatment for autoimmune ailments.

Nat. Med. 2009;15(9):1038-45.

Pubmed ID: 19668193

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