PubMed 17579055

Title: Altered dynamics of Kv1.3 channel compartmentalization in the immunological synapse in systemic lupus erythematosus.

Authors: Stella A Nicolaou, Peter Szigligeti, Lisa Neumeier, Susan Molleran Lee, Heather J Duncan, Shashi K Kant, Anne Barbara Mongey, Alexandra H Filipovich, Laura Conforti

Journal, date & volume: J. Immunol., 2007 Jul 1 , 179, 346-56

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Aberrant T cell responses during T cell activation and immunological synapse (IS) formation have been described in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Kv1.3 potassium channels are expressed in T cells where they compartmentalize at the IS and play a key role in T cell activation by modulating Ca(2+) influx. Although Kv1.3 channels have such an important role in T cell function, their potential involvement in the etiology and progression of SLE remains unknown. This study compares the K channel phenotype and the dynamics of Kv1.3 compartmentalization in the IS of normal and SLE human T cells. IS formation was induced by 1-30 min exposure to either anti-CD3/CD28 Ab-coated beads or EBV-infected B cells. We found that although the level of Kv1.3 channel expression and their activity in SLE T cells is similar to normal resting T cells, the kinetics of Kv1.3 compartmentalization in the IS are markedly different. In healthy resting T cells, Kv1.3 channels are progressively recruited and maintained in the IS for at least 30 min from synapse formation. In contrast, SLE, but not rheumatoid arthritis, T cells show faster kinetics with maximum Kv1.3 recruitment at 1 min and movement out of the IS by 15 min after activation. These kinetics resemble preactivated healthy T cells, but the K channel phenotype of SLE T cells is identical to resting T cells, where Kv1.3 constitutes the dominant K conductance. The defective temporal and spatial Kv1.3 distribution that we observed may contribute to the abnormal functions of SLE T cells.