Spontaneous and prostatic steroid binding protein peptide-induced autoimmune prostatitis in the nonobese diabetic mouse

Giuseppe Penna, Susana Amuchastegui, Chiara Cossetti, Francesca Aquilano, Roberto Mariani, Nadia Giarratana, Elena De Carli, Benedetta Fibbi, Luciano Adorini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chronic nonbacterial prostatitis is a poorly defined syndrome of putative autoimmune origin. To further understand its pathogenesis, we have analyzed autoimmune prostatitis in the NOD mouse, a strain genetically prone to develop different organ-specific autoimmune diseases. Spontaneous development of autoimmune prostatitis in the NOD male, defined by lymphomonuclear cell infiltration in the prostate gland, is well-established by ∼20 wk of age and is stably maintained afterward. Disease development is indistinguishable in NOD and NOR mice, but is markedly delayed in IFN-γ-deficient NOD mice. A T cell response to the prostate-specific autoantigen prostatic steroid-binding protein (PSBP) can be detected in NOD males before development of prostate infiltration, indicating lack of tolerance to this self Ag. The intraprostatic inflammatory infiltrate is characterized by Th1-type CD4+ T cells, which are able to transfer autoimmune prostatitis into NOD.SCID recipients. We characterize here experimental autoimmune prostatitis, detected by intraprostatic infiltrate and PSBP-specific T cell responses, induced in 6- to 8-wk-old NOD males by immunization with synthetic peptides corresponding to the C1 subunit of PSBP. Three PSBP peptides induce in NOD mice vigorous T and B cell responses, paralleled by a marked lymphomononuclear cell infiltration in the prostate. Two of these peptides, PSBP21-40 and PSBP61-80, correspond to immunodominant self epitopes naturally processed in NOD mice after immunization with PSBP, whereas peptide PSBP91-111 represents a cryptic epitope. These model systems address pathogenetic mechanisms in autoimmune prostatitis and will facilitate testing and mechanistic analysis of therapeutic approaches in this condition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1559-1567
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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