Pik3c3 deficiency in myeloid cells imparts partial resistance to experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis associated with reduced IL-1β production

Academic Article


  • The PIK3C3/VPS34 subunit of the class III phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PtdIns3K) complex plays a role in both canonical and noncanonical autophagy, key processes that control immune-cell responsiveness to a variety of stimuli. Our previous studies found that PIK3C3 is a critical regulator that controls the development, homeostasis, and function of dendritic and T cells. In this study, we investigated the role of PIK3C3 in myeloid cell biology using myeloid cell-specific Pik3c3-deficient mice. We found that Pik3c3-deficient macrophages express increased surface levels of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I and class II molecules. In addition, myeloid cell-specific Pik3c3 ablation in mice caused a partial impairment in the homeostatic maintenance of macrophages expressing the apoptotic cell uptake receptor TIM-4. Pik3c3 deficiency caused phenotypic changes in myeloid cells that were dependent on the early machinery (initiation/nucleation) of the classical autophagy pathway. Consequently, myeloid cell-specific Pik3c3-deficient animals showed significantly reduced severity of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a primarily CD4+ T-cell-mediated mouse model of multiple sclerosis (MS). This disease protection was associated with reduced accumulation of myelin-specific CD4+ T cells in the central nervous system and decreased myeloid cell IL-1β production. Further, administration of SAR405, a selective PIK3C3 inhibitor, delayed disease progression. Collectively, our studies establish PIK3C3 as an important regulator of macrophage functions and myeloid cell-mediated regulation of EAE. Our findings also have important implications for the development of small-molecule inhibitors of PIK3C3 as therapeutic modulators of MS and other autoimmune diseases.
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    Author List

  • Yang G; Song W; Xu J; Postoak JL; Cheng F; Martinez J; Zhang J; Wu L; Van Kaer L
  • Start Page

  • 2024
  • End Page

  • 2039
  • Volume

  • 18
  • Issue

  • 8