CS1 (CRACC, CD319) and 2B4 (CD244), members of the signalling lymphocyte activation molecule (SLAM) family receptors, regulate various immune functions. Genes encoding SLAM family receptors are located at 1q23, implicated in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). In this study, we have investigated the expression and alternative splicing of CS1 and 2B4 in immune cells from SLE patients. The surface expression of CS1 and 2B4 on total peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), T, B, natural killer (NK) cells and monocytes in 45 patients with SLE and 30 healthy individuals was analysed by flow cytometry. CS1-positive B cell population was increased significantly in SLE patients. Because CS1 is a self-ligand and homophilic interaction of CS1 induces B cell proliferation and autocrine cytokine secretion, this could account for autoreactive B cell proliferation in SLE. The proportion of NK cells and monocytes expressing 2B4 on their surface was significantly lower in patients with SLE compared to healthy controls. Our study demonstrated altered expression of splice variants of CS1 and 2B4 that mediate differential signalling in PBMC from patients with SLE.
- SLAM family receptors