Table_3_Lupus Autoimmunity and Metabolic Parameters Are Exacerbated Upon High Fat Diet-Induced Obesity Due to TLR7 Signaling.docx

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients have increased prevalence of metabolic syndrome but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. Toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7) that detects single stranded-RNA plays a key role in antimicrobial host defense and also contributes to the initiation and progression of SLE both in mice and humans. Here, we report the implication of TLR7 signaling in high fat diet (HFD)-induced metabolic syndrome and exacerbation of lupus autoimmunity in TLR8-deficient (TLR8ko) mice, which develop spontaneous lupus-like disease due to increased TLR7 signaling by dendritic cells (DCs). The aggravated SLE pathogenesis in HFD-fed TLR8ko mice was characterized by increased overall immune activation, anti-DNA autoantibody production, and IgG/IgM glomerular deposition that were coupled with increased kidney histopathology. Moreover, upon HFD TLR8ko mice developed metabolic abnormalities, including liver inflammation. In contrast, upon HFD TLR7/8ko mice did not develop SLE and both TLR7ko and TLR7/8ko mice were fully protected from metabolic abnormalities, including body weight gain, insulin resistance, and liver inflammation. Interestingly, HFD led to an increase of TLR7 expression in WT mice, that was coupled with increased TNF production by DCs, and this phenotype was more profound in TLR8ko mice. Our study uncovers the implication of TLR7 signaling in the interconnection of SLE and metabolic abnormalities, indicating that TLR7 might be a novel approach as a tailored therapy in SLE and metabolic diseases.