A major neurotransmitter dopamine transmits signals via five different seven-transmembrane G protein-coupled receptors termed D1-D5. Several studies have shown that dopamine not only mediates interactions into the nervous system, but can contribute to the modulation of immunity via receptors expressed on immune cells. We have previously shown an autocrine/paracrine release of dopamine by dendritic cells (DCs) during Ag presentation to naive CD4 + T cells and found efficacious results of a D1-like receptor antagonist SCH-23390 in the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis mouse model of multiple sclerosis and in the NOD mouse model of type I diabetes, with inhibition of Th17 response. This study aimed to assess the role of dopaminergic signaling in Th17-mediated immune responses and in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In human naive CD4+ T cells, dopamine increased IL-6-dependent IL-17 production via D1-like receptors, in response to anti-CD3 plus anti-CD28 mAb. Furthermore, dopamine was localized with DCs in the synovial tissue of RA patients and significantly increased in RA synovial fluid. In the RA synovial/SCID mouse chimera model, although a selective D2-like receptor antagonist haloperidol significantly induced accumulation of IL-6 + and IL-17+ T cells with exacerbated cartilage destruction, SCH-23390 strongly suppressed these responses. Taken together, these findings indicate that dopamine released by DCs induces IL-6-Th17 axis and causes aggravation of synovial inflammation of RA, which is the first time, to our knowledge, that actual evidence has shown the pathological relevance of dopaminergic signaling with RA.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy