Hippo pathway kinase Mst1 Is required for long-lived humoral immunity
Publication Year 2019-01, Volume 202, Issue #1, Page 69-78
Journal Title
Journal of Immunology
Publication Type
Journal Article
The protein kinase Mst1 is a key component of the evolutionarily conserved Hippo pathway that regulates cell survival, proliferation, differentiation, and migration. In humans, Mst1 deficiency causes primary immunodeficiency. Patients with MST1-null mutations show progressive loss of naive T cells but, paradoxically, mildly elevated serum Ab titers. Nonetheless, the role of Mst1 in humoral immunity remains poorly understood. In this study, we found that early T cell-dependent IgG1 responses in young adult Mst1-deficient mice were largely intact with signs of impaired affinity maturation. However, the established Ag-specific IgG1 titers in Mst1-deficient mice decayed more readily because of a loss of Ag-specific but not the overall bone marrow plasma cells. Despite the impaired affinity and longevity of Ag-specific Abs, Mst1-deficient mice produced plasma cells displaying apparently normal maturation markers with intact migratory and secretory capacities. Intriguingly, in immunized Mst1-deficient mice, T follicular helper cells were hyperactive, expressing higher levels of IL-21, IL-4, and surface CD40L. Accordingly, germinal center B cells progressed more rapidly into the plasma cell lineage, presumably forgoing rigorous affinity maturation processes. Importantly, Mst1-deficient mice had elevated levels of CD138(+)Blimp1(+) splenic plasma cell populations, yet the size of the bone marrow plasma cell population remained normal. Thus, overproduced low-affinity plasma cells from dysregulated germinal centers seem to underlie humoral immune defects in Mst1-deficiency. Our findings imply that vaccination of Mst1-deficient human patients, even at the early stage of life, may fail to establish long-lived high-affinity humoral immunity and that prophylactic Ab replacement therapy can be beneficial to the patients.
WEHI Research Division(s)
Molecular Immunology
PubMed ID
NHMRC Grants
NHMRC/1054925 NHMRC/1058238
Rights Notice
Refer to copyright notice on published article.

Creation Date: 2018-12-18 02:54:33
Last Modified: 2019-01-15 09:12:17
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