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IFN-gamma/TNF-alpha synergism as the final effector in autoimmune diabetes: a key role for STAT1/IFN regulatory factor-1 pathway in pancreatic beta cell death

 Kyoungho Suk  ;  Sunshin Kim  ;  Yun-Hee Kim  ;  Kyoung-Ah Kim  ;  Inik Chang  ;  Hideo Yagita  ;  Minho Shong  ;  Myung-Shik Lee 
 JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY, Vol.166(7) : 4481-4489, 2001 
Journal Title
Issue Date
Animals ; Apoptosis/immunology* ; Autoimmune Diseases/immunology ; Autoimmune Diseases/pathology ; Autoimmune Diseases/prevention & control ; Caspase 1/biosynthesis ; Caspases/biosynthesis ; Cell Death/immunology ; Cells, Cultured ; Cytotoxicity Tests, Immunologic ; DNA-Binding Proteins/biosynthesis ; DNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism ; DNA-Binding Proteins/physiology* ; Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1/immunology* ; Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1/pathology ; Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1/prevention & control ; Drug Synergism ; Enzyme Induction/immunology ; Immune Sera/administration & dosage ; Infusions, Intravenous ; Interferon Regulatory Factor-1 ; Interferon-gamma/toxicity* ; Islets of Langerhans/immunology ; Islets of Langerhans/metabolism ; Islets of Langerhans/pathology* ; Mice ; Mice, Inbred ICR ; Mice, Inbred NOD ; Phosphoproteins/biosynthesis ; Phosphoproteins/metabolism ; Phosphoproteins/physiology* ; Phosphorylation ; STAT1 Transcription Factor ; Signal Transduction/immunology* ; Trans-Activators/metabolism ; Trans-Activators/physiology* ; Tumor Cells, Cultured ; Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/antagonists & inhibitors ; Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/immunology ; Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/toxicity* ; Up-Regulation/immunology
Fas ligand (FasL), perforin, TNF-alpha, IL-1, and NO have been considered as effector molecule(s) leading to beta cell death in autoimmune diabetes. However, the real culprit(s) in beta cell destruction have long been elusive, despite intense investigation. We and others have demonstrated that FasL is not a major effector molecule in autoimmune diabetes, and previous inability to transfer diabetes to Fas-deficient nonobese diabetic (NOD)-lpr mice was due to constitutive FasL expression on lymphocytes from these mice. Here, we identified IFN-gamma/TNF-alpha synergism as the final effector molecules in autoimmune diabetes of NOD mice. A combination of IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha, but neither cytokine alone, induced classical caspase-dependent apoptosis in insulinoma and pancreatic islet cells. IFN-gamma treatment conferred susceptibility to TNF-alpha-induced apoptosis on otherwise resistant insulinoma cells by STAT1 activation followed by IFN regulatory factor (IRF)-1 induction. IRF-1 played a central role in IFN-gamma/TNF-alpha-induced cytotoxicity because inhibition of IRF-1 induction by antisense oligonucleotides blocked IFN-gamma/TNF-alpha-induced cytotoxicity, and transfection of IRF-1 rendered insulinoma cells susceptible to TNF-alpha-induced cytotoxicity. STAT1 and IRF-1 were expressed in pancreatic islets of diabetic NOD mice and colocalized with apoptotic cells. Moreover, anti-TNF-alpha Ab inhibited the development of diabetes after adoptive transfer. Taken together, our results indicate that IFN-gamma/TNF-alpha synergism is responsible for autoimmune diabetes in vivo as well as beta cell apoptosis in vitro and suggest a novel signal transduction in IFN-gamma/TNF-alpha synergism that may have relevance in other autoimmune diseases and synergistic anti-tumor effects of the two cytokines.
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2. College of Dentistry (치과대학) > Dept. of Oral Biology (구강생물학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Chang, In Ik(장인익)
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