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Articles by E Traggiai
Total Records ( 2 ) for E Traggiai
  E Traggiai , C Lunardi , C Bason , M Dolcino , E Tinazzi , R Corrocher and A. Puccetti

We have previously reported that antibodies directed against the cytomegalovirus-derived protein UL94 cross react with the cell surface tetraspanin transmembrane 4 superfamily member 7 (TM4SF7 or NAG-2) molecule inducing apoptosis of endothelial cells and activation of fibroblasts in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc). We aimed at generating a non-functional mAb directed against NAG-2 from patients’ memory B cells. Direct and competitive ELISA methods have been used to evaluate the binding of antibodies from scleroderma patients’ and controls’ sera to the NAG-2 peptide. IgG memory B cells were sorted, EBV transformed and cloned to obtain NAG-2-specific mAbs. Endothelial cells and fibroblasts were cultured under standard conditions and used for functional assays. Anti-NAG-2-purified antibodies obtained from patients’ Ig induce endothelial cell apoptosis and fibroblast proliferation. Patients’ Igs depleted of the anti-NAG-2 fraction do not exert such functional activity. Therefore, the NAG-2 molecule represents a potential novel candidate for therapeutic intervention in SSc. Here, we describe the generation of a human mAb directed against the NAG-2 molecule. Such mAb does not retain any functional property and is able to block the effect of serum pathogenetic anti-NAG-2 antibodies. The majority of SSc patients present antibodies directed against tetraspanin NAG-2 and mediate both endothelial cell apoptosis and fibroblast proliferation, features of the disease. The anti-NAG-2 human mAb we have obtained blocks signal transduction and therefore may be a potential candidate for a new treatment in SSc, a disease where the current biological therapies have little or no efficacy.

  B Cassani , P. L Poliani , V Marrella , F Schena , A. V Sauer , M Ravanini , D Strina , C. E Busse , S Regenass , H Wardemann , A Martini , F Facchetti , M van der Burg , A. G Rolink , P Vezzoni , F Grassi , E Traggiai and A. Villa

Hypomorphic RAG mutations, leading to limited V(D)J rearrangements, cause Omenn syndrome (OS), a peculiar severe combined immunodeficiency associated with autoimmune-like manifestations. Whether B cells play a role in OS pathogenesis is so far unexplored. Here we report the detection of plasma cells in lymphoid organs of OS patients, in which circulating B cells are undetectable. Hypomorphic Rag2R229Q knock-in mice, which recapitulate OS, revealed, beyond severe B cell developmental arrest, a normal or even enlarged compartment of immunoglobulin-secreting cells (ISC). The size of this ISC compartment correlated with increased expression of Blimp1 and Xbp1, and these ISC were sustained by elevated levels of T cell derived homeostatic and effector cytokines. The detection of high affinity pathogenic autoantibodies toward target organs indicated defaults in B cell selection and tolerance induction. We hypothesize that impaired B cell receptor (BCR) editing and a serum B cell activating factor (BAFF) abundance might contribute toward the development of a pathogenic B cell repertoire in hypomorphic Rag2R229Q knock-in mice. BAFF-R blockade reduced serum levels of nucleic acid-specific autoantibodies and significantly ameliorated inflammatory tissue damage. These findings highlight a role for B cells in OS pathogenesis.

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