System A amino acid transporters regulate glutamine uptake and attenuate antibody-mediated arthritis.

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Proliferation of rapidly dividing bone marrow-derived cells is strongly dependent on the availability of free glutamine, whose uptake is mediated through different amino acid transporters. The sodium-coupled neutral amino acid transporter (SNAT) family was previously reported to be associated with the development of collagen-induced arthritis in mice. Here, we tested the hypothesis whether impairment of SNAT proteins influences immune cell function and in turn alters arthritis development. The 2-(methylamino)isobutyric acid (MeAIB), a SNAT-specific substrate, was used to modulate the function of SNAT proteins. We demonstrate that glutamine uptake by murine naïve lymphocytes, and consequent cell proliferation is strongly associated with system A transporters. Physiological impairment of SNAT proteins reduced antibody-initiated effector phase of arthritis, mainly by affecting the levels of circulating monocytes and neutrophils. MeAIB was also shown to affect the proliferation of immortalized cells, via trans-inhibition of SNAT proteins. Based on our observations, we conclude that SNAT proteins regulate the initial stages of lymphocyte activation by regulating glutamine uptake, and that the effector phase of arthritis can be affected by non-metabolized SNAT substrates. Most likely, metabolically active cells both within the adaptive and the innate immune system are regulated by SNAT proteins and play a role in modifying arthritis development. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.


  • Bruno Raposo
  • Daniëlle Vaartjes
  • Emma Ahlqvist
  • Kutty-Selva Nandakumar
  • Rikard Holmdahl
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cell and Molecular Biology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-617
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch