Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.489, No.1, 56-62, 2017
MST1 deficiency promotes B cell responses by CD4(+) T cell-derived IL-4, resulting in hypergammaglobulinemia
MST1 deficiency causes T and B cell lymphopenia, resulting in combined immunodeficiency. However, MST1-deficient patients also exhibit autoimmune-like symptoms such as hypergammaglobulinemia and autoantibody production. Recent studies have shown that the autoimmune responses observed in MST1-deficient patients were most likely attributable to defective regulatory T (Treg) cells instead of intrinsic signals in MST1-lacking B cells. Nevertheless, it is not determined how MST1 deficiency in T cells breaks B cell tolerance and causes systemic autoimmune-like phenotypes. In this study, we confirmed that Mst1(-/-) mice developed hypergammaglobulinemia associated with increased levels of IgG, IgA, and IgE. We also showed that uncontrolled B cell responses were resulted from the IL-4-rich environment created by CD4(+) T cells. Defective MST1-FOXO1 signaling down-regulated Treg cells, resulting in the collapse of immune tolerance where the populations of Th2 and T follicular helper cells expanded. In conclusion, we suggest that MST1 acts as a molecular brake to maintain immune tolerance by regulating T cell-mediated B cell activation. (C) 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.