Sunlight (UVB) triggers cutaneous lupus erythematosus (CLE) and systemic lupus through an unknown mechanism. We tested the hypothesis that UVB triggers CLE through a CSF-1-dependent, macrophage (Mø)-mediated mechanism in MRL-Faslpr mice. By constructing mutant MRL-Faslpr strains expressing varying levels of CSF-1 (high, intermediate, none), and use of an ex vivo gene transfer to deliver CSF-1 intradermally, we determined that CSF-1 induces CLE in lupus-susceptible MRL-Faslpr mice, but not in lupus-resistant BALB/c mice. UVB incites an increase in Møs, apoptosis in the skin, and CLE in MRL-Faslpr, but not in CSF-1-deficient MRL-Faslpr mice. Furthermore, UVB did not induce CLE in BALB/c mice. Probing further, UVB stimulates CSF-1 expression by keratinocytes leading to recruitment and activation of Møs that, in turn, release mediators, which induce apoptosis in keratinocytes. Thus, sunlight triggers a CSF-1-dependent, Mø-mediated destructive inflammation in the skin leading to CLE in lupus-susceptible MRL-Faslpr but not lupus-resistant BALB/c mice. Taken together, CSF-1 is envisioned as the match and lupus susceptibility as the tinder leading to CLE.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy