Type I Interferon Signaling Is Required for Dacryoadenitis in the Nonobese Diabetic Mouse Model of Sjögren Syndrome. Int J Mol Sci 2018;19(10)Abstract.
Nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice spontaneously develop lacrimal and salivary gland autoimmunity similar to human Sjögren syndrome. In both humans and NOD mice, the early immune response that drives T-cell infiltration into lacrimal and salivary glands is poorly understood. In NOD mice, lacrimal gland autoimmunity spontaneously occurs only in males with testosterone playing a role in promoting lacrimal gland inflammation, while female lacrimal glands are protected by regulatory T cells (Tregs). The mechanisms of this male-specific lacrimal gland autoimmunity are not known. Here, we studied the effects of Treg depletion in hormone-manipulated NOD mice and lacrimal gland gene expression to determine early signals required for lacrimal gland inflammation. While Treg-depletion was not sufficient to drive dacryoadenitis in castrated male NOD mice, chemokines (, ) and other potentially disease-relevant genes (, ) were upregulated in male lacrimal glands. Expression of and , in particular, remained significantly upregulated in the lacrimal glands of lymphocyte-deficient NOD-severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice and their expression was modulated by type I interferon signaling. Notably, -deficient NOD mice did not develop dacryoadenitis. Together these data identify disease-relevant genes upregulated in the context of male-specific dacryoadenitis and demonstrate a requisite role for type I interferon signaling in lacrimal gland autoimmunity in NOD mice.