Journal of Autoimmunity vol:36 issue:2 pages:161-169
The absence of IFN-γ signaling leads to an increased inflammatory response in many murine models of autoimmune diseases induced by a CFA-assisted immunization schedule. We investigated the role of endogenous IFN-γ in arthritis induced by immunization with glucose-6-phosphate isomerase (G6PI) in CFA in DBA/1 mice. Surprisingly, and in contrast to our previous findings in collagen-induced arthritis (CIA), G6PI-induced arthritis was found to be reduced in IFN-γ receptor-deficient (IFN-γR KO) mice, demonstrating a proinflammatory role for IFN-γ in this model. Milder disease in IFN-γR KO mice was associated with less vigorous innate and adaptive immune responses early (day 9) after immunization: less proliferation of myeloid cells in the spleen, less osteoclast formation, less G6PI-reactive Th cells (as measured by ex vivo stimulation and flow cytometry and by in vivo skin reactivity to G6PI) and lower G6PI-specific immunoglobulin serum levels. Surprisingly, on day 21, despite continued milder disease in IFN-γR KO mice, their Th cell responses were no longer diminished but augmented as compared to wild-type mice, and their numbers of immature myeloid splenocytes were also more increased. These data reveal that IFN-γ signaling is critical for the induction of the early immune responses which trigger G6PI-induced arthritis. The strikingly different clinical consequences of absent IFN-γ signaling in G6PI-induced arthritis compared with the very similarly induced CIA emphasize that the role of a single cytokine in experimentally induced arthritis depends critically on the very nature of the inciting (auto)antigen and in particular on the kinetics of the disease manifestation elicited by the antigen.