The RIG-I pathway is involved in peripheral T cell lymphopenia in patients with dermatomyositis.

A new interesting article has been published in Arthritis Res Ther. 2019 May 29;21(1):131. doi: 10.1186/s13075-019-1905-z. and titled:

The RIG-I pathway is involved in peripheral T cell lymphopenia in patients with dermatomyositis.

Authors of this article are:

Zhang L, Xia Q, Li W, Peng Q, Yang H, Lu X, Wang G.

A summary of the article is shown below:

BACKGROUND: Peripheral T cell lymphopenia is a clinical phenomenon in some patients with dermatomyositis (DM). Patients with T cell lymphopenia are more susceptible to life-threatening infections. However, the pathogenesis of T cell lymphopenia remains unclear. In this study, we aimed to determine retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I) expression in peripheral T lymphocytes and explore the correlation between RIG-I and T cell lymphopenia in DM.METHODS: The mRNA and protein expression levels of RIG-I were determined in peripheral T lymphocytes of 26 treatment-naive DM patients by q-PCR and Western blot. The apoptosis of peripheral T lymphocytes was detected by flow cytometry. The associations between RIG-I expression levels and clinical characteristics were investigated. In Jurkat cell, we examined the relationship between RIG-I and cell apoptosis following RIG-I overexpression or activation by specific ligand (pppRNA). The CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing system was used for RIG-I knockout. Fas and caspase 3 were identified by Western blot. CCK8 colorimeter was performed to monitor cell proliferation.RESULTS: In DM patients, we observed the peripheral T lymphocyte count decreased notably while the apoptosis of T lymphocytes increased significantly compared with healthy control. RIG-I expression levels in peripheral T cell correlated negatively with T cell count in DM patients. RIG-I protein expression decreased significantly, and the number of T cell increased when disease was improved. In Jurkat cells, increased apoptosis and elevated expression of Fas and cleaved-caspase 3 protein were observed following RIG-I overexpression or RIG-I-specific ligand (pppRNA) activation. Meanwhile, the proliferation of Jurkat cells was markedly reduced. Whereas, neither cell apoptosis nor the cell viability of the RIG-I knockout clones exhibited significant changes following pppRNA activation.CONCLUSION: Our study showed for the first time that negative correlation between the increased RIG-I expression in peripheral T lymphocyte and T cell count in some patients with DM. We demonstrated that highly expressed RIG-I played a critical role in inducing apoptosis and inhibiting proliferation of T lymphocyte in vitro. Therefore, RIG-I-mediated apoptosis may be one of the possible mechanisms of T cell lymphopenia in some patients with DM. These findings expand our existing knowledge on the mechanisms of innate immunity in pathogenesis and provide new therapeutic avenues for DM.

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This article is a good source of information and a good way to become familiar with topics such as: Apoptosis; Dermatomyositis; RIG-I; T cell lymphopenia.