Journal Article Type II Natural Killer T Cells that Recognize Sterol Carrier Protein 2 Are Implicated in Vascular Inflammation in the Rat Model of Systemic Connective Tissue Diseases

Nishioka, Yusuke  ,  Yamaguchi, Madoka  ,  Kawakami, Ai  ,  Munehiro, Maya  ,  Masuda, Sakiko  ,  Tomaru, Utano  ,  Ishizu, Akihiro

187 ( 1 )  , pp.176 - 186 , 2017-01 , Elsevier
We previously generated a rat model that developed systemic connective tissue diseases, including synovitis, myositis, and small-vessel vasculitis (SVV), and established a vascular endothelial cell–reactive T-cell clone, VASC-1, from the model. VASC-1 was determined to be a type II natural killer T-cell clone. In this study, we attempted to identify the antigen recognized by VASC-1. The monkey-derived cell line COS-7 was used because VASC-1 does not bind naturally to COS-7, although the amino acid sequences are well conserved between monkey CD1d and rat CD1d. We generated 98 COS-7 clones transfected with miscellaneous rat cDNA and screened them for VASC-1 binding. Consequently, we found one clone, 4D2, which could bind to VASC-1. Sequencing identified the rat cDNA introduced into 4D2 as sterol carrier protein 2 (SCP2). When VASC-1 was co-cultured with SCP2 knockdown rat vascular endothelial cells, VASC-1 binding was reduced significantly. Moreover, we designed a series of rat SCP2 peptides and introduced them into COS-7 cells. On the basis of VASC-1 binding and proliferation, we revealed that the peptide rSCP2518-532 included the epitope recognized by VASC-1. Furthermore, immunization with rSCP2518-532 accelerated the development of SVV in the rat model. The collective findings suggest that type II natural killer T cells reactive with autologous SCP2 are implicated in vascular inflammation in the rat model.

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