Serum amyloid A inhibits dendritic cell apoptosis to induce glucocorticoid resistance in CD4(+) T cells.

Cell death & disease

PubMedID: 24008730

Ather JL, Fortner KA, Budd RC, Anathy V, Poynter ME. Serum amyloid A inhibits dendritic cell apoptosis to induce glucocorticoid resistance in CD4(+) T cells. Cell Death Dis. 2013;4e786.
Mediators produced by the airway epithelium control the activation, recruitment, and survival of pulmonary dendritic cells (DC) that present antigen to CD4(+) T cells during the genesis and exacerbation of allergic asthma. The epithelial-derived acute phase protein, serum amyloid A (SAA), induces DC maturation and TH17 polarization. TH17 responses are associated with severe forms of allergic asthma that are poorly controlled by corticosteroids. We sought to determine whether SAA would enhance the survival of DC during serum starvation and could then contribute to the development of a glucocorticoid-resistant phenotype in CD4(+) T cells. Bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDC) that were serum starved in the presence of SAA were protected from activation of caspase-3 and released less lactate dehydrogenase. In comparison with untreated serum-starved BMDC, treatment with SAA downregulated mRNA expression of the pro-apoptotic molecule Bim, increased production of the pro-survival heat shock protein 70 (HSP70), and induced secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines. SAA-treated BMDC that were serum starved for 48?h remained capable of presenting antigen and induced OTII CD4(+) T cells to secrete IL-17A, IL-17F, IL-21, IL-22, and IFN? in the presence of ovalbumin. IL-17A, IL-17F, IL-21, and IFN? production occurred even when the CD4(+) T cells were treated with dexamethasone (Dex), whereas glucocorticoid treatment abolished cytokine secretion by T cells cocultured with untreated serum-starved BMDC. Measurement of Dex-responsive gene expression demonstrated CD4(+) T cells as the target of glucocorticoid hyperresponsiveness manifest as a consequence of BMDC stimulation by SAA. Finally, allergic airway disease induced by SAA and antigen inhalation was unresponsive to Dex treatment. Our results indicate that apo-SAA affects DC to both prolong their viability and increase their inflammatory potential under apoptosis-inducing conditions. These findings reveal mechanisms through which SAA enhances the CD4(+) T-cell-stimulating capacity of antigen-presenting cells that may actively participate in the pathogenicity of glucocorticoid-resistant lung disease.