To treat lupus nephritis effectively, proper identification of the histologic class is essential. Although the classification system for lupus nephritis is nearly 40 years old, remarkably few studies have investigated interobserver agreement. Interobserver agreement among nephropathologists was studied, particularly with respect to the recognition of class III/IV lupus nephritis lesions, and possible causes of disagreement were determined.
Macrophages can fuse to form osteoclasts in bone or multinucleate giant cells (MGCs) as part of the immune response. We use a systems genetics approach in rat macrophages to unravel their genetic determinants of multinucleation and investigate their role in both bone homeostasis and inflammatory disease. We identify a trans-regulated gene network associated with macrophage multinucleation and Kcnn4 as being the most significantly trans-regulated gene in the network and induced at the onset of fusion. Kcnn4 is required for osteoclast and MGC formation in rodents and humans. Genetic deletion of Kcnn4 reduces macrophage multinucleation through modulation of Ca(2+) signaling, increases bone mass, and improves clinical outcome in arthritis. Pharmacological blockade of Kcnn4 reduces experimental glomerulonephritis. Our data implicate Kcnn4 in macrophage multinucleation, identifying it as a potential therapeutic target for inhibition of bone resorption and chronic inflammation.
Anti-neutrophil cytoplasm antibody (ANCA) associated vasculitis with renal involvement requires treatment with potentially toxic drugs to reduce morbidity and mortality, and there is a major challenge to determine clinical and histological features predictive of renal prognosis. The aim of our study was to evaluate the use of the 2010 international histological classification for ANCA-associated glomerulonephritis (AAGN) as a predictor of renal outcome when used in conjunction with other prognostic factors.
To assess effects of epidermal growth factor (EGF) and pegylated granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (P-GCSF; pegfilgrastim) administration on the cellular origin of renal tubular epithelium regenerating after acute kidney injury initiated by mercuric chloride (HgCl2 ). Female mice were irradiated and male whole bone marrow (BM) was transplanted into them. Six weeks later recipient mice were assigned to one of eight groups: control, P-GCSF+, EGF+, P-GCSF+EGF+, HgCl2 , HgCl2 +P-GCSF+, HgCl2 +EGF+ and HgCl2 +P-GCSF+EGF+. Following HgCl2 , injection tubular injury scores increased and serum urea nitrogen levels reached uraemia after 3 days, but EGF-treated groups were resistant to this acute kidney injury. A four-in-one analytical technique for identification of cellular origin, tubular phenotype, basement membrane and S-phase status revealed that BM contributed 1% of proximal tubular epithelium in undamaged kidneys and 3% after HgCl2 damage, with no effects of exogenous EGF or P-GCSF. Only 0.5% proximal tubular cells were seen in S-phase in the undamaged group kidneys; this increased to 7-8% after HgCl2 damage and to 15% after addition of EGF. Most of the regenerating tubular epithelium originated from the indigenous pool. BM contributed up to 6.6% of the proximal tubular cells in S-phase after HgCl2 damage, but only to 3.3% after additional EGF. EGF administration attenuated tubular necrosis following HgCl2 damage, and the major cause of this protective effect was division of indigenous cells, whereas BM-derived cells were less responsive. P-GCSF did not influence damage or regeneration.
Because immunoglobulin abnormalities may affect the kidney, investigation of renal biopsies requires immunohistological study of light chains. A problem is that most antibodies to light chains react with whole immunoglobulins as well as free light chains, and there are generally many more whole immunoglobulins than free light chains. The usefulness of antibodies that only detected free light chains was investigated.
Spleen tyrosine kinase (SYK) has an important role in immunoreceptor signaling, and SYK inhibition has accordingly attenuated immune-mediated injury in several in vivo models. However, the effect of SYK inhibition on autoantibody production remains unclear, and SYK inhibition has not been studied in an autoimmune model of renal disease. We, therefore, studied the effect of SYK inhibition in experimental autoimmune GN, a rodent model of antiglomerular basement membrane disease. We show glomerular SYK expression and activation by immunohistochemistry in both experimental and clinical disease, and we show that treatment with fostamatinib, a small molecule kinase inhibitor selective for SYK, completely prevents the induction of experimental autoimmune GN. In established experimental disease, introduction of fostamatinib treatment led to cessation of autoantibody production, reversal of renal injury, preservation of biochemical renal function, and complete protection from lung hemorrhage. B cell ELISpot and flow cytometric analysis suggest that short-term fostamatinib treatment inhibits the generation and activity of antigen-specific B cells without affecting overall B-cell survival. Additionally, fostamatinib inhibited proinflammatory cytokine production by nephritic glomeruli ex vivo and cultured bone marrow-derived macrophages in vitro, suggesting additional therapeutic effects independent of effects on autoantibody production that are likely related to inhibited Fc receptor signaling within macrophages in diseased glomeruli. Given these encouraging results in an in vivo model that is highly applicable to human disease, we believe clinical studies targeting SYK in GN are now warranted.
Tuned and distinct responses of macrophages and dendritic cells to Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) activation induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) underpin the balance between innate and adaptive immunity. However, the molecule(s) that confer these cell-type-specific LPS-induced effects remain poorly understood. Here we report that the integrin ?(M) (CD11b) positively regulates LPS-induced signalling pathways selectively in myeloid dendritic cells but not in macrophages. In dendritic cells, which express lower levels of CD14 and TLR4 than macrophages, CD11b promotes MyD88-dependent and MyD88-independent signalling pathways. In particular, in dendritic cells CD11b facilitates LPS-induced TLR4 endocytosis and is required for the subsequent signalling in the endosomes. Consistent with this, CD11b deficiency dampens dendritic cell-mediated TLR4-triggered responses in vivo leading to impaired T-cell activation. Thus, by modulating the trafficking and signalling functions of TLR4 in a cell-type-specific manner CD11b fine tunes the balance between adaptive and innate immune responses initiated by LPS.
Regulatory B cells (Breg) have attracted increasing attention for their roles in maintaining peripheral tolerance. Interleukin 33 (IL-33) is a recently identified IL-1 family member, which leads a double-life with both pro- and anti-inflammatory properties. We report here that peritoneal injection of IL-33 exacerbated inflammatory bowel disease in IL-10-deficient (IL-10(-/-)) mice, whereas IL-33-treated IL-10-sufficient (wild type) mice were protected from the disease induction. A phenotypically unconventional subset(s) (CD19(+)CD25(+)CD1d(hi)IgM(hi)CD5(-)CD23(-)Tim-1(-)) of IL-10 producing Breg-like cells (Breg(IL-33)) was identified responsible for the protection. We demonstrated further that Breg(IL-33) isolated from these mice could suppress immune effector cell expansion and functions and, upon adoptive transfer, effectively blocked the development of spontaneous colitis in IL-10(-/-) mice. Our findings indicate an essential protective role, hence therapeutic potential, of Breg(IL-33) against mucosal inflammatory disorders in the gut.
Apoptotic cells are a source of autoantigens and impairment of their removal contributes to the development of autoimmunity in C1q deficiency. However, the lack of complement component 3 (C3), the predominant complement opsonin, does not predispose to autoimmunity, suggesting a modifying role of C3 in disease pathogenesis. To explore this hypothesis, here we investigated the role of C3 in the T-cell response to apoptotic cell-associated antigens. By comparing the phagosome maturation and the subsequent MHC class II presentation of a peptide derived from the internalized cargo between C3-deficient or C3-sufficient dendritic cells, we found that C3 deficiency accelerated the fusion of the apoptotic cargo with lysosomes. As a result, C3 deficiency led to impaired antigen-specific T-cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo. Notably, preopsonization of the apoptotic cells with C3 activation fragments rectified the trafficking and T-cell stimulation defects. These data indicate that activated C3 may act as a "chaperone" in the intracellular processing of an apoptotic cargo and, thus, may modulate the T-cell response to self-antigens displayed on dying cells.
The Oxford Classification of IgA Nephropathy (IgAN) identified mesangial hypercellularity (M), endocapillary proliferation (E), segmental glomerulosclerosis (S), and tubular atrophy/interstitial fibrosis (T) as independent predictors of outcome. Whether it applies to individuals excluded from the original study and how therapy influences the predictive value of pathology remain uncertain. The VALIGA study examined 1147 patients from 13 European countries that encompassed the whole spectrum of IgAN. Over a median follow-up of 4.7 years, 86% received renin-angiotensin system blockade and 42% glucocorticoid/immunosuppressive drugs. M, S, and T lesions independently predicted the loss of estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and a lower renal survival. Their value was also assessed in patients not represented in the Oxford cohort. In individuals with eGFR less than 30?ml/min per 1.73?m(2), the M and T lesions independently predicted a poor survival. In those with proteinuria under 0.5?g/day, both M and E lesions were associated with a rise in proteinuria to 1 or 2?g/day or more. The addition of M, S, and T lesions to clinical variables significantly enhanced the ability to predict progression only in those who did not receive immunosuppression (net reclassification index 11.5%). The VALIGA study provides a validation of the Oxford classification in a large European cohort of IgAN patients across the whole spectrum of the disease. The independent predictive value of pathology MEST score is reduced by glucocorticoid/immunosuppressive therapy.
Mesangial cells are glomerular cells of stromal origin. During immune complex mediated crescentic glomerulonephritis (Crgn), infiltrating and proliferating pro-inflammatory macrophages lead to crescent formation. Here we have hypothesised that mesangial cells, given their mesenchymal stromal origin, show similar immunomodulatory properties as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), by regulating macrophage function associated with glomerular crescent formation. We show that rat mesangial cells suppress conA-stimulated splenocyte proliferation in vitro, as previously shown for MSCs. We then investigated mesangial cell-macrophage interaction by using mesangial cells isolated from nephrotoxic nephritis (NTN)-susceptible Wistar Kyoto (WKY) and NTN-resistant Lewis (LEW) rats. We first determined the mesangial cell transcriptome in WKY and LEW rats and showed that this is under marked genetic control. Supernatant transfer results show that WKY mesangial cells shift bone marrow derived macrophage (BMDM) phenotype to M1 or M2 according to the genetic background (WKY or LEW) of the BMDMs. Interestingly, these effects were different when compared to those of MSCs suggesting that mesangial cells can have unique immunomodulatory effects in the kidney. These results demonstrate the importance of the genetic background in the immunosuppressive effects of cells of stromal origin and specifically of mesangial cell-macrophage interactions in the pathophysiology of crescentic glomerulonephritis.
The term C3 glomerulopathy describes renal disorders characterized by the presence of glomerular deposits composed of C3 in the absence of significant amounts of Ig. On the basis of electron microscopy appearance, subsets of C3 glomerulopathy include dense deposit disease (DDD) and C3 glomerulonephritis (C3GN). The full spectrum of histologic change observed in C3 glomerulopathy has yet to be defined and pathologic predictors of renal outcome within this patient population remain largely unknown. This study thus characterized a large C3 glomerulopathy cohort and identified clinicopathologic predictors of renal outcome.
C3 glomerulopathy refers to those renal lesions characterized histologically by predominant C3 accumulation within the glomerulus, and pathogenetically by aberrant regulation of the alternative pathway of complement. Dense deposit disease is distinguished from other forms of C3 glomerulopathy by its characteristic appearance on electron microscopy. The extent to which dense deposit disease also differs from other forms of C3 glomerulopathy in terms of clinical features, natural history, and outcomes of treatment including renal transplantation is less clear. We discuss the pathophysiology of C3 glomerulopathy, with evidence for alternative pathway dysregulation obtained from affected individuals and complement factor H (Cfh)-deficient animal models. Recent linkage studies in familial C3 glomerulopathy have shown genomic rearrangements in the Cfh-related genes, for which the novel pathophysiologic concept of Cfh deregulation has been proposed.
Crescentic glomerulonephritis (CRGN) is a major cause of human kidney failure, but the underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. Wistar Kyoto (WKY) rats are uniquely susceptible to CRGN following injection of nephrotoxic serum, whereas Lewis (LEW) rats are resistant. Our previous genetic studies of nephrotoxic nephritis (NTN), a form of CRGN induced by nephrotoxic serum, identified Fcgr3 and Jund as WKY genes underlying the two strongest quantitative trait loci for NTN phenotypes: Crgn1 and Crgn2, respectively. We also showed that introgression of WKY Crgn1 or Crgn2 individually into a LEW background did not lead to the formation of glomerular crescents. We have now generated a bicongenic strain, LEW.WCrgn1,2, in which WKY Crgn1 and Crgn2 are both introgressed into the LEW genetic background. These rats show development of NTN phenotypes, including glomerular crescents. Furthermore, we characterised macrophage function and glomerular cytokine profiles in this new strain. Additionally, we show that LEW.WCrgn1,2 rats are resistant to the development of glomerular crescents that is usually induced following immunisation with recombinant rat ?3(IV)NC1, the specific Goodpasture autoantigen located in the glomerular basement membrane against which the immune response is directed in experimental autoimmune glomerulonephritis. Our results show that the new bicongenic strain responds differently to two distinct experimental triggers of CRGN. This is the first time that CRGN has been induced on a normally resistant rat genetic background and identifies the LEW.WCrgn1,2 strain as a new, potentially valuable model of macrophage-dependent glomerulonephritis.
Interleukin-1? (IL-1?) is a proinflammatory cytokine and a therapeutic target in several chronic autoimmune states. Monocytes and macrophages are the major sources of IL-1?. IL-1? production by these cells requires Toll-like receptor (TLR) and adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-mediated P2X purinoceptor 7 (P2X7) signals, which together activate the inflammasome. However, how TLR signals and ATP availability are regulated during monocyte activation is unclear and the involvement of another danger signal system has been proposed. Here, we demonstrate that both lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and the anaphylatoxin C3a are needed for IL-1? production in human macrophages and dendritic cells, while in monocytes, C3a enhanced the secretion of LPS-induced IL-1?. C3a and LPS-stimulated monocytes increased T helper 17 (Th17) cell induction in vitro, and human rejecting, but not nonrejecting, kidney transplant biopsies were characterized by local generation of C3a and monocyte and Th17 cell infiltration. Mechanistically, C3a drives IL-1? production in monocytes by controlling the release of intracellular ATP into the extracellular space via regulation of as-yet unidentified ATP-releasing channels in an extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2-dependent fashion. These data define a novel function for complement in inflammasome activation in monocytes and suggest that C3aR-mediated signaling is a vital component of the IL-1?-Th17 axis.
Lupus nephritis (LN) is a serious complication of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). All current treatment regimens include oral steroids, which are associated with severe adverse events and long-term damage. We have piloted a steroid-avoiding protocol (rituxilup) for the treatment of biopsy-proven active International Society of Nephrology/Renal Pathology Society (ISN/RPS) class III, IV, or class V LN.
C3 glomerulopathy describes glomerular pathology associated with predominant deposition of complement C3 including dense deposit disease and C3 glomerulonephritis. Familial C3 glomerulonephritis has been associated with rearrangements affecting the complement factor H-related (CFHR) genes. These include a hybrid CFHR3-1 gene and an internal duplication within the CFHR5 gene. CFHR5 nephropathy, to date, occurred exclusively in patients with Cypriot ancestry, and is associated with a heterozygous internal duplication of the CFHR5 gene resulting in duplication of the exons encoding the first two domains of the CFHR5 protein. Affected individuals possess both the wild-type nine-domain CFHR5 protein (CFHR5(12-9)) and an abnormally large mutant CFHR5 protein in which the initial two protein domains are duplicated (CFHR5(1212-9)). We found CFHR5(1212-9) in association with familial C3 glomerulonephritis in a family without Cypriot ancestry. The genomic rearrangement was distinct from that seen in Cypriot CFHR5 nephropathy. Our findings strengthen the association between CFHR5(1212-9) and familial C3 glomerulonephritis and recommend screening for CFHR5(1212-9) in patients with C3 glomerulopathy irrespective of ethnicity. Since CFHR5(1212-9) can result from at least two genomic rearrangements, screening is most readily achieved through analysis of CFHR5 protein.Kidney International advance online publication, 25 September 2013; doi:10.1038/ki.2013.348.
It has been 20 years since the first description of a rapidly progressive renal disease that is associated with the consumption of Chinese herbs containing aristolochic acid (AA) and is now termed aristolochic acid nephropathy (AAN). Recent data have shown that AA is also the primary causative agent in Balkan endemic nephropathy and associated urothelial cancer. Aristolochic acid nephropathy is associated with a high long-term risk for renal failure and urothelial cancer, and the potential worldwide population exposure is enormous. This evidence-based review of the diagnostic approach to and management of AAN draws on the authors experience with the largest and longest-studied combined cohort of patients with this condition. It is hoped that a better understanding of the importance of this underrecognized and severe condition will improve epidemiologic, preventive, and therapeutic strategies to reduce the global burden of this disease.
C3 glomerulopathy is a recently introduced pathological entity whose original definition was glomerular pathology characterized by C3 accumulation with absent or scanty immunoglobulin deposition. In August 2012, an invited group of experts (comprising the authors of this document) in renal pathology, nephrology, complement biology, and complement therapeutics met to discuss C3 glomerulopathy in the first C3 Glomerulopathy Meeting. The objectives were to reach a consensus on: the definition of C3 glomerulopathy, appropriate complement investigations that should be performed in these patients, and how complement therapeutics should be explored in the condition. This meeting report represents the current consensus view of the group.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This review summarizes recent key findings relating to the role of the complement system in renal pathology. RECENT FINDINGS: There is increasing association of genetic variations in complement and complement control proteins with renal disease. Genome-wide association studies have shown that polymorphisms at the complement factor H-related gene locus are associated with susceptibility to IgA nephropathy and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Rare mutations in these genes are associated with familial forms of C3 glomerulopathy. Mutations in other complement genes have been associated with C3 glomerulopathy and hemolytic uremic syndrome. There are now several reports of the use of anti-C5 antibody therapy in renal disease. Preclinical studies have shown the utility of targeted inhibition of C3 activation in models of lupus glomerulonephritis and ischemia reperfusion injury. SUMMARY: Complement activation or dysregulation is important in a range of renal pathology and new therapeutic strategies are being developed which may allow rational therapy for these diseases.
C3 glomerulopathy is a recent disease classification comprising several rare types of glomerulonephritis (GN), including dense deposit disease (DDD), C3 glomerulonephritis (C3GN) and CFHR5 nephropathy. These disorders share the key histological feature of isolated complement C3 deposits in the glomerulus. A common aetiology involving dysregulation of the alternative pathway (AP) of complement has been elucidated in the past decade, with genetic defects and/or autoantibodies able to be identified in a proportion of patients. We review the clinical and histological features of C3 glomerulopathy, relating these to underlying molecular mechanisms. The role of uncontrolled C3 activation in pathogenesis is emphasized, with important lessons from animal models. Methods, advantages and limitations of gene testing in the assessment of individuals or families with C3 glomerulopathy are discussed. While no therapy has yet been shown consistently effective, clinical evaluation of agents targeting specific components of the complement system is ongoing. However, limits to current knowledge regarding the natural history and the appropriate timing and duration of proposed therapies need to be addressed.
Antineutrophil cytoplasm antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis (AAV) commonly results in glomerulonephritis, in which neutrophils and monocytes have important roles. The heterodimer calprotectin (S100A8/S100A9, mrp8/14) is a Toll-like receptor-4 ligand found in neutrophils and monocytes and is elevated in inflammatory conditions. By immunohistochemistry of renal biopsies, patients with focal or crescentic glomerular lesions were found to have the highest expression of calprotectin and those with sclerotic the least. Serum levels of calprotectin as measured by ELISA were elevated in patients with active AAV and the levels decreased but did not normalize during remission, suggesting subclinical inflammation. Calprotectin levels in patients with limited systemic disease increased following treatment withdrawal and were significantly elevated in patients who relapsed compared with those who did not. As assessed by flow cytometry, patients with AAV had higher monocyte and neutrophil cell surface calprotectin expression than healthy controls, but this was not associated with augmented mRNA expression in CD14(+) monocytes or CD16(+) neutrophils. Thus, serum calprotectin is a potential disease biomarker in patients with AAV, and may have a role in disease pathogenesis.
Microscopic haematuria is the presenting symptom of several conditions, either heritable or acquired. A well-recognized familial condition is Alport syndrome, either of X-linked or autosomal recessive inheritance, as well as thin basement membrane nephropathy (TBMN) because of heterozygous collagen IV mutations. Even though microscopic haematuria of TBMN was long considered as a benign disease with excellent prognosis, more recent data suggest that development of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and even end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) is not a rare finding, perhaps owing to the cofounding role of modifier genes and other factors. Recent investigations in London and Cyprus culminated in the identification of another autosomal dominant condition that presents with microscopic haematuria because of heterozygous mutations in the CFHR5 gene, which apparently plays a pivotal role in the regulation of the alterative pathway of complement system, which constitutes a significant part of innate immunity in humans. Histologically, the hallmark observation is the isolated glomerular deposition of C3 complement in the absence of immune complexes. It is considered one of the C3 glomerulopathies, and it may or may not be accompanied by mild membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis. Interestingly, a single mutation has been identified so far, a duplication of exons 2-3 of the CFHR5 gene, and it has been described in patients of Greek-Cypriot descend only, perhaps originating on the Troodos mountains of Cyprus. Thus far, no patient with a mutation in this gene has been diagnosed in any other population. In Cyprus, it has been found in clusters of families in neighbouring villages in a total of 136 patients, and it constitutes a strong founder phenomenon. About 50% of patients over 50 years have progressed to CKD, and 14% of all patients progressed to ESKD. It is not quite well understood why males run a much higher risk to progress to CKD, compared to women.
The oxidative burst is one of the major antimicrobial mechanisms adopted by macrophages. The WKY rat strain is uniquely susceptible to experimentally induced macrophage-dependent crescentic glomerulonephritis (Crgn). We previously identified the AP-1 transcription factor JunD as a determinant of macrophage activation in WKY bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs). JunD is over-expressed in WKY BMDMs and its silencing reduces Fc receptor-mediated oxidative burst in these cells.
Adenocarcinoma of the seminal vesicles is a very rare malignancy, with less than 100 cases reported worldwide. It is documented to have a poor prognosis, with the majority of patients developing metastatic disease, most commonly in the prostate, bladder and rectum. Currently there is no standard treatment for metastatic disease and the limited reports of treatment with radiotherapy, chemotherapy and hormonal (anti-androgenic) therapy show that they are generally of modest benefit. The association between malignancy and an increased risk of autoimmune vasculitis has been demonstrated in a number of malignancies, but to date there have been no documented cases of adenocarcinoma of the seminal vesicles associated with anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody vasculitis.
The CD11b/CD18 integrin (complement receptor 3, CR3) is a surface receptor on monocytes, neutrophils, macrophages and dendritic cells that plays a crucial role in several immunological processes including leukocyte extravasation and phagocytosis. The minor allele of a non-synonymous CR3 polymorphism (rs1143679, conversation of arginine to histidine at position 77: R77H) represents one of the strongest genetic risk factor in human systemic lupus erythematosus, with heterozygosity (77R/H) being the most common disease associated genotype. Homozygosity for the 77H allele has been reported to reduce adhesion and phagocytosis in human monocytes and monocyte-derived macrophages, respectively, without affecting surface expression of CD11b. Herein we comprehensively assessed the influence of R77H on different CR3-mediated activities in monocytes, neutrophils, macrophages and dendritic cells. R77H did not alter surface expression of CD11b including its active form in any of these cell types. Using two different iC3b-coated targets we found that the uptake by heterozygous 77R/H macrophages, monocytes and neutrophils was significantly reduced compared to 77R/R cells. Allele-specific transduced immortalized macrophage cell lines demonstrated that the minor allele, 77H, was responsible for the impaired phagocytosis. R77H did not affect neutrophil adhesion, neutrophil transmigration in vivo or Toll-like receptor 7/8-mediated cytokine release by monocytes or dendritic cells with or without CR3 pre-engagement by iC3b-coated targets. Our findings demonstrate that the reduction in CR3-mediated phagocytosis associated with the 77H CD11b variant is not macrophage-restricted but demonstrable in other CR3-expressing professional phagocytic cells. The association between 77H and susceptibility to systemic lupus erythematosus most likely relates to impaired waste disposal, a key component of lupus pathogenesis.
The functions of Nr4a1-dependent Ly6C(low) monocytes remain enigmatic. We show that they are enriched within capillaries and scavenge microparticles from their lumenal side in a steady state. In the kidney cortex, perturbation of homeostasis by a TLR7-dependent nucleic acid "danger" signal, which may signify viral infection or local cell death, triggers G?i-dependent intravascular retention of Ly6C(low) monocytes by the endothelium. Then, monocytes recruit neutrophils in a TLR7-dependent manner to mediate focal necrosis of endothelial cells, whereas the monocytes remove cellular debris. Prevention of Ly6C(low) monocyte development, crawling, or retention in Nr4a1(-/-), Itgal(-/-), and Tlr7(host-/-BM+/+) and Cx3cr1(-/-) mice, respectively, abolished neutrophil recruitment and endothelial killing. Prevention of neutrophil recruitment in Tlr7(host+/+BM-/-) mice or by neutrophil depletion also abolished endothelial cell necrosis. Therefore, Ly6C(low) monocytes are intravascular housekeepers that orchestrate the necrosis by neutrophils of endothelial cells that signal a local threat sensed via TLR7 followed by the in situ phagocytosis of cellular debris.
Crescentic glomerulonephritis (Crgn) is a complex disease where the initial insult is often the glomerular deposition of antibodies against intrinsic or deposited antigens in the glomerulus. The role of Fc receptors in the induction and progression of Crgn is increasingly recognized, and our previous studies have shown that copy number variation in Fcgr3 partially explains the genetic susceptibility of the Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rat to nephrotoxic nephritis, a rat model of Crgn. The Fcgr3-related sequence (Fcgr3-rs) is a novel rat-specific Fc receptor with a cytoplasmic domain 6 amino acids longer than its paralogue, Fcgr3. The Fcgr3-rs gene is deleted from the WKY rat genome, and this deletion is associated with enhanced macrophage activity in this strain. Here, we investigated the mechanism by which the deletion of Fcgr3-rs in the WKY strain leads to increased macrophage activation. By lentivirus-mediated gene delivery, we generated stably transduced U937 cells expressing either Fcgr3-rs or Fcgr3. In these cells, which lack endogenous Fcgr3 receptors, we show that Fcgr3-rs interacts with the common Fc-? chain but that Fc receptor-mediated phagocytosis and signaling are defective. Furthermore, in primary macrophages, expression of Fcgr3-rs inhibits Fc receptor-mediated functions, because WKY bone marrow-derived macrophages transduced with Fcgr3-rs had significantly reduced phagocytic activity. This inhibitory effect on phagocytosis was mediated by the novel cytoplasmic domain of Fcgr3-rs. These results suggest that Fcgr3-rs may act to inhibit Fcgr3-mediated signaling and phagocytosis and could be considered as a novel mechanism in the modulation of Fc receptor-mediated cell activation in autoimmune diseases.
Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis exhibits endothelial damage, but the capacity for vessel repair in this disorder is not well understood. Here, we observed a marked increase in serum levels of soluble Flt1 (sFlt1), a potent inhibitor of vascular endothelial growth factor, in patients with active ANCA-associated vasculitis compared with patients during remission and other controls. Serum levels of sFlt1 correlated with C5a, an anaphylatoxin released after complement activation. Serum from patients with acute ANCA-associated vasculitis disrupted blood flow in the chicken chorioallantoic membrane assay, suggesting an antiangiogenic effect. Preincubation with excess human vascular endothelial growth factor prevented this effect. Anti-proteinase-3 (PR3) mAb and serum containing PR3-ANCA from patients with active vasculitis both induced a significant and sustained release of sFlt1 from monocytes, whereas anti-myeloperoxidase (MPO) mAb or polyclonal antibodies did not. However, the serum containing polyclonal PR3-ANCA did not induce release of sFlt1 from cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells. In summary, these data suggest that anti-PR3 antibodies, and to a much lesser extent anti-MPO antibodies, increase sFlt1 during acute ANCA-associated vasculitis, leading to an antiangiogenic state that hinders endothelial repair.
Experimental autoimmune glomerulonephritis (EAG) can be induced in Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats by immunization with the recombinant NC1 domain of the alpha 3 chain of type IV collagen [?3(IV)NC1]. EAG is characterized by circulating and deposited anti-?3(IV)NC1 antibodies, accompanied by focal necrotizing glomerulonephritis with crescent formation. Programmed death-1 (PD-1) receptor is preferentially expressed on activated T cells and binds two known ligands present on antigen presenting cells, PDL-1 and PDL-2. Engagement of PD-1 by its ligands results in a negative regulatory effect, with inhibition of downstream cellular signalling events and diminished cellular proliferation.
Fas ligand is a well-known inducer of apoptosis in cells expressing its receptor Fas; it also prevents autoimmunity by inducing apoptosis of activated T cells. However, Fas ligand also mediates non-apoptotic functions involving inflammatory cell migration and cytokine responses. We sought here to study the role of Fas ligand in nephrotoxic nephritis, a model of crescentic glomerulonephritis, using generalized lymphoproliferative disorder (GLD) mice on a C57BL/6 background, which have defective Fas ligand and display only mild autoimmunity. These mice were significantly protected from glomerular crescent formation, glomerular thrombosis, renal impairment, and albuminuria 15 days after the induction of glomerulonephritis in comparison with wild-type mice. There were a reduced number of apoptotic cells in the glomeruli of nephritic GLD mice but no defect in their antibody responses or splenocyte proliferation at 15 days following the induction of glomerulonephritis. Bone marrow transplantation from wild-type mice restored disease susceptibility to GLD mice; however, wild-type mice were not protected when transplanted with bone marrow from GLD mice. Mesangial cells express Fas ligand in vitro, and these cells isolated from GLD mice produced lower amounts of monocyte chemoattractive protein-1 following interleukin-1 stimulation compared with cells from wild-type mice. Thus, Fas ligand-defective mice are protected from nephrotoxic nephritis, a disease in which both circulating and intrinsic renal cells appear to have a role.
This review provides a summary of recent advances in the understanding of crescentic glomerulonephritis, focusing on antineutrophil cytoplasm antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis and anti-glomerular basement membrane (anti-GBM) antibody disease. In ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV), four main conceptual advances are discussed as follows: (1) evidence for the pathogenicity of ANCA, (2) molecular mimicry and the role of infection in AAV, (3) evidence for aberrant T-cell responses and T-cell regulation in AAV, and (4) advances in understanding of genetic predisposition to AAV. In relation to anti-GBM disease we discuss the following: (1) the nature of the Goodpasture autoantigens, (2) T-cell responses and regulation in anti-GBM disease, and (3) human leukocyte antigen and non-human leukocyte antigen genetic associations.
Immunosuppressive regimens for kidney transplantation which reduce the long-term burden of immunosuppression are attractive, but little data are available to judge the safety and efficacy of the different strategies used. We tested the hypothesis that the simple, cheap, regimen of alemtuzumab induction combined with tacrolimus monotherapy maintenance provided equivalent outcomes to the more commonly used combination of interleukin-2 receptor monoclonal antibody induction with tacrolimus and mycophenolate mofetil combination maintenance, both regimens using steroid withdrawal after 7 days.
To define the role of IL-10 in lupus pathogenesis, and to understand the immunological mechanisms underlying resistance vs susceptibility to lupus disease induction by dendritic cells (DCs) and dying cells.
Fc?RIIB-deficient mice generated in 129 background (Fc?RIIB(129)(-/-)) if back-crossed into C57BL/6 background exhibit a hyperactive phenotype and develop lethal lupus. Both in mice and humans, the Fc?r2b gene is located within a genomic interval on chromosome 1 associated with lupus susceptibility. In mice, the 129-derived haplotype of this interval, named Sle16, causes loss of self-tolerance in the context of the B6 genome, hampering the analysis of the specific contribution of Fc?RIIB deficiency to the development of lupus in Fc?RIIB(129)(-/-) mice. Moreover, in humans genetic linkage studies revealed contradictory results regarding the association of "loss of function" mutations in the Fc?r2b gene and susceptibility to systemic lupus erythematosis. In this study, we demonstrate that Fc?RIIB(-/-) mice generated by gene targeting in B6-derived ES cells (Fc?RIIB(B6)(-/-)), lacking the 129-derived flanking Sle16 region, exhibit a hyperactive phenotype but fail to develop lupus indicating that in Fc?RIIB(129)(-/-) mice, not Fc?RIIB deficiency but epistatic interactions between the C57BL/6 genome and the 129-derived Fc?r2b flanking region cause loss of tolerance. The contribution to the development of autoimmune disease by the resulting autoreactive B cells is amplified by the absence of Fc?RIIB, culminating in lethal lupus. In the presence of the Yaa lupus-susceptibility locus, Fc?RIIB(B6)(-/-) mice do develop lethal lupus, confirming that Fc?RIIB deficiency only amplifies spontaneous autoimmunity determined by other loci.
Complement factor H and related proteins (CFHR) are key regulators of the alternative complement pathway, where loss of function mutations lead to a glomerulopathy with isolated mesangial C3 deposits without immunoglobulins. Gale et al. (12) reported on 26 patients with the first familial, hematuric glomerulopathy caused by a founder mutation in the CFHR5 gene in patients of Cypriot descent living in the United Kingdom. CFHR5 nephropathy is clinically characterized by continuous microscopic hematuria whereas some patients present with additional episodes of synpharyngitic macrohematuria, associated with infection and pyrexia. A subgroup of patients, particularly men, develop additional proteinuria, hypertension, and chronic renal disease or ESRD.
The cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, seliciclib (R-roscovitine, CYC202), has anti-proliferative activity through its inhibition of cyclin-dependent kinase 2. We hypothesized that treatment with seliciclib would reduce glomerular macrophage numbers and glomerular crescent formation in experimental crescentic glomerulonephritis even when treatment is started after onset of disease.
Rituximab (RTX) has been shown to be effective as an induction agent in anti-neutrophil cytoplasm antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis (AAV), but studies have been limited by short-term follow-up. We decided to investigate the long-term efficacy and safety of an RTX-based cyclophosphamide (CYP)-sparing regimen (CycLowVas) for renal AAV.
Segmental sclerosis is frequently seen in IgA nephropathy and is an adverse prognostic indicator in the Oxford classification. Hill and colleagues have studied patients with IgA nephropathy and show that the segmental sclerotic lesions have features that suggest they are due to primary podocyte injury. They confirm the validity of the Oxford classification in predicting outcome and also show that categorizing the type of FSGS is of prognostic significance, with collapsing and cellular forms having the worst outcome.
Genetic investigation of crescentic glomerulonephritis (Crgn) susceptibility in the Wistar Kyoto rat, a strain uniquely susceptible to nephrotoxic nephritis (NTN), allowed us to positionally clone the activator protein-1 transcription factor Jund as a susceptibility gene associated with Crgn. To study the influence of Jund deficiency (Jund(-/-)) on immune-mediated renal disease, susceptibility to accelerated NTN was examined in Jund(-/-) mice and C57BL/6 wild-type (WT) controls. Jund(-/-) mice showed exacerbated glomerular crescent formation and macrophage infiltration, 10 days after NTN induction. Serum urea levels were also significantly increased in the Jund(-/-) mice compared with the WT controls. There was no evidence of immune response differences between Jund(-/-) and WT animals because the quantitative immunofluorescence for sheep and mouse IgG deposition in glomeruli was similar. Because murine Jund was inactivated by replacement with a bacterial LacZ reporter gene, we then investigated its glomerular expression by IHC and found that the Jund promoter is mainly active in Jund(-/-) podocytes. Furthermore, cultured glomeruli from Jund(-/-) mice showed relatively increased expression of vascular endothelial growth factor A (Vegfa), Cxcr4, and Cxcl12, well-known HIF target genes. Accordingly, small-interfering RNA-mediated JUND knockdown in conditionally immortalized human podocyte cell lines led to increased VEGFA and HIF1A expression. Our findings suggest that deficiency of Jund may cause increased oxidative stress in podocytes, leading to altered VEGFA expression and subsequent glomerular injury in Crgn.
IgA nephropathy is defined by the presence of IgA-dominant glomerular deposits. Within this definition, there is variation in the location of IgA and the presence of other immunoglobulins. The Oxford classification of IgA nephropathy identifies four histological features that are independent predictors of clinical outcome but does not include immunostains. Here, we investigate the potential clinical significance of immunostaining data.
Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN) is characterised by mesangial expansion and hypercellularity and capillary wall thickening with capillary wall and mesangial deposits of immunoglobulin and/or complement. Two main forms are described in humans: MPGN type I with subendothelial and mesangial electron-dense deposits on electron microscopy, and MPGN type II, or dense deposit disease, with electron dense transformation of the glomerular capillary wall. Spontaneous MPGN type I has been described in dogs and sheep in association with C3 deficiency. Induced models of MPGN type I have been described in mice with cryoglobulinaemia. Glomerulonephritis resembling MPGN type II has occurred spontaneously in pigs that have a genetic deficiency of the complement control protein factor H. The animals develop capillary wall deposits of C3 before birth. Mice have been genetically engineered with a deficiency of factor H and similarly develop glomerular capillary wall C3 with MPGN. This model has been used to study both pathogenesis and therapeutic interventions. In particular, MPGN associated with factor H deficiency is absolutely dependent on both the ability to activate C3 and on the ability of factor I to cleave C3b. There is an important role for C5 activation in the development of glomerular inflammation in this model. Factor H dysfunction is associated with an increased susceptibility to complement-activating nephrotoxic insults and in these scenarios C5 activation appears to play a major role in mediating glomerular injury.
Gene variants in the alternative pathway of the complement system strongly associate with atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), presumably by predisposing to increased complement activation within the kidney. Complement factor H (CFH) is the major regulator of complement activation through the alternative pathway. Factor H-deficient mice transgenically expressing a mutant CFH protein (Cfh(-/-).FH?16-20) that functionally mimics the CFH mutations reported in aHUS patients spontaneously develop thrombotic microangiopathy. To investigate the role of complement C5 activation in this aHUS model, we generated C5-deficient Cfh(-/-).FH?16-20 mice. Both C5-sufficient and C5-deficient Cfh(-/-).FH?16-20 mice had abnormal C3 deposition within the kidney, but spontaneous aHUS did not develop in any of the C5-deficient mice. Furthermore, although Cfh(-/-).FH?16-20 animals demonstrated marked hypersensitivity to experimentally triggered renal injury, animals with concomitant C5 deficiency did not. These data demonstrate a critical role for C5 activation in both spontaneous aHUS and experimentally triggered renal injury in animals with defective complement factor H function. This study provides a rationale to investigate therapeutic inhibition of C5 in human aHUS.
Complement is a key component of the innate immune system, and variation in genes that regulate its activation is associated with renal and other disease. We aimed to establish the genetic basis for a familial disorder of complement regulation associated with persistent microscopic haematuria, recurrent macroscopic haematuria, glomerulonephritis, and progressive renal failure.
Several distinct pathological patterns of glomerular inflammation are associated with abnormal regulation of the complement system, specifically, with dysregulation of the alternative pathway of the complement system. However, these conditions share the pathological finding of complement C3 (C3) deposited within the glomerulus in the absence of substantial immunoglobulin. This finding has alerted us and others to the possible presence of genetic and acquired complement dysregulation in individual patients. This article summarizes our current understanding of the relationship between dysregulation of the complement system and glomerular inflammation. Here, we suggest that glomerular pathologies that are characterized by the isolated deposition of C3 could usefully be classified by the term C3 glomerulopathy. In our view, this classification would alert the pathologist and nephrologist to the importance of screening for acquired and genetic abnormalities in complement regulation. In the future, it could help to identify individuals who might benefit from therapeutic inhibition of the complement system.
The Wistar Kyoto (WKY) rat is uniquely susceptible to experimentally induced crescentic glomerulonephritis. Two major quantitative trait loci (QTLs) on chromosomes 13 (Crgn1) and 16 (Crgn2) with logarithm of odds >8, as well as five other loci (Crgn3 through 7), largely explain this genetic susceptibility. To understand further the effects of Crgn1 and Crgn2, we generated a double-congenic strain by introgressing these loci from glomerulonephritis-resistant Lewis rats onto the WKY genetic background. Induction of nephrotoxic nephritis in the double-congenic rats (WKY.LCrgn1,2) produced markedly fewer glomerular crescents, reduced macrophage infiltration, and decreased expression of glomerular TNF-alpha and inducible nitric oxide synthase expression compared with control animals. Bone marrow and kidney transplantation studies between parental and WKY.LCrgn1,2 strains, together with in vitro experiments, demonstrated that Crgn1 and Crgn2 contribute exclusively to circulating cell-related glomerular injury by regulating macrophage infiltration and activation. The residual genetic susceptibility to crescentic glomerulonephritis in WKY.LCrgn1,2 rats associated with macrophage activity (especially with enhanced metalloelastase expression) rather than macrophage infiltration. Taken together, these results demonstrate that a genetic influence on macrophage activation, rather than number, determines glomerular damage in immune-mediated glomerulonephritis.
Safely targeting the fetal gastrointestinal tract during early gestation is essential to develop effective prenatal gene therapy for gastrointestinal diseases. In this study, we aimed to characterize the development of the fetal sheep stomach sonographically and to determine the optimum gestational age, as well as the shortterm morbidity and mortality of early-gestation ultrasound-guided intragastric injection.
Total deficiency of complement factor H (CFH) is associated with dense deposit disease and atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome. CFH is the major regulator of the alternative pathway of complement activation and its complete deficiency results in uncontrolled C3 activation through this pathway and secondary C3 deficiency. Plasma infusion, as a source of CFH, has been used with variable success to treat renal disease associated with its deficiency. However, the risks of volume and protein overload limit this therapeutic approach. In this study, we investigated the efficacy of a purified human CFH (hCFH) preparation in Cfh-gene knockout mice. These mice spontaneously develop both secondary plasma C3 deficiency and a renal abnormality characterized by massive accumulation of C3 along the glomerular basement membrane. The renal lesion is analogous to human dense deposit disease. Treatment of knockout mice with hCFH resulted in rapid normalization of plasma C3 levels and resolution of the glomerular basement membrane C3 deposition. Long-term treatment of mice with hCFH was not possible because of the development of an immune response against hCFH. Hence, we suggest that hCFH can be an effective alternative therapy to plasma infusions in patients with renal disease associated with CFH deficiency.
The Fcgamma-receptor locus on chromosome 1q23 shows copy-number variation (CNV), and it has previously been shown that individuals with reduced numbers of copies of the Fcgamma-receptor-IIIB gene (FCGR3B) have an increased risk of developing systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). It is not understood whether the association arises from FCGR3B (CD16b) itself, is observed because of linkage disequilibrium with actual causal alleles and/or is an effect of CNV on flanking FCGR genes. Thus, we extended this previous work by genotyping the FCGR3B alleles NA1/NA2 and re-assaying CNV using a paralogue ratio test assay in a family study (365 families). We have developed a novel case/pseudo-control approach to analyse family data, as the phase of copy number (CN) is not known in parents and cannot always be inferred in offspring. The results, obtained by fitting logistic regression models, confirm the association of low CN of FCGR3B with SLE (P=0.04). The risk conferred by low copies (<2) was contingent on FCGR3B allotype, being greater for deletion of NA1 than the for lower-affinity NA2. The simpler model with just CN was rejected in favour of the biallelic-CN model (P=0.03). We observed a correlation (R(2)=0.75, P<0.0001) between FCGR3B CNV and neutrophil expression in both healthy controls and patients with SLE. Our results suggest that one mechanism by which CNV at this locus confers disease risk is directly as a result of reduced FcgammaRIIIb function, either because of reduced expression (related to CNV) or because of reduced affinity for its ligand (NA1/NA2 allotype).
The 129-derived Sle16 is a susceptibility locus for systemic autoimmunity when present on the C57BL/6 (B6) background. Genetic analysis of a (129xB6)F2 cross identified a region from the B6 chromosome 3 (Sle18) with positive linkage to antinuclear Abs. In this study, we have generated a B6 congenic strain harboring the 129 allele of Sle18 and intercrossed this line with the lupus-prone B6.129-Sle16 strain. The presence of the 129-Sle18 allele in the B6.129-Sle16Sle18 double congenic mice suppressed the development of Sle16-mediated autoantibody production and ameliorated the renal pathology. The 129-Sle18 locus rectified the B cell abnormalities detected in the B6.129-Sle16 mice, such as the reduction in the percentage of marginal zone B and B1a cells and the increased number of germinal centers. The B6.129-Sle16Sle18 spleens still displayed an increased percentage of activated T and B cells. However, in the B6.129-Sle16Sle18 strain the percentage of naive T cells was equivalent to that in B6.129-Sle18 and B6 mice and these cells showed a reduced proliferative response to anti-CD3 stimulation compared with B6.129-Sle16 T cells. There was a significant increase in the percentage of CD4(+)FoxP3(+)regulatory T cells in all congenic strains. These cells had normal regulatory function when tested in vitro. Thus, 129-Sle18 represents a novel, non-MHC lupus-suppressor locus probably operating as a functional modifier of B cells that, in combination with other factors, leads to lupus resistance. Further characterization of this locus will help to uncover the immune mechanism(s) conferring protection against lupus.
Using genome-wide association, we identify common variants at 2p12-p13, 6q26, 17q23 and 19q13 associated with serum creatinine, a marker of kidney function (P = 10(-10) to 10(-15)). Of these, rs10206899 (near NAT8, 2p12-p13) and rs4805834 (near SLC7A9, 19q13) were also associated with chronic kidney disease (P = 5.0 x 10(-5) and P = 3.6 x 10(-4), respectively). Our findings provide insight into metabolic, solute and drug-transport pathways underlying susceptibility to chronic kidney disease.
Complement activation is known to have deleterious effects on organ transplantation. On the other hand, the complement system is also known to have an important role in regulating immune responses. The balance between these two opposing effects is critical in the context of transplantation. Here, we report that female mice deficient in C1q (C1qa(-/-)) or C3 (C3(-/-)) reject male syngeneic grafts (HY incompatible) at an accelerated rate compared with WT mice. Intranasal HY peptide administration, which induces tolerance to syngeneic male grafts in WT mice, fails to induce tolerance in C1qa(-/-) or C3(-/-) mice. The rejection of the male grafts correlated with the presence of HY D(b)Uty-specific CD8(+) T cells. Consistent with this, peptide-treated C1qa(-/-) and C3(-/-) female mice rejecting male grafts exhibited more antigen-specific CD8(+)IFN-gamma(+) and CD8(+)IL-10(+) cells compared with WT females. This suggests that accumulation of IFN-gamma- and IL-10-producing T cells may play a key role in mediating the ongoing inflammatory process and graft rejection. Interestingly, within the tolerized male skin grafts of peptide-treated WT mice, IFN-gamma, C1q and C3 mRNA levels were higher compared to control female grafts. These results suggest that C1q and C3 facilitate the induction of intranasal tolerance.
Hypothermic machine perfusion is a well-established preservation method for kidneys that allows for better preservation over longer periods and pretransplant assessment of graft viability. This technique has only sporadically been used for pancreatic grafts. The aim of this study was to establish a hypothermic machine perfusion model for porcine pancreas perfusion.
To study the predictive value of biopsy lesions in IgA nephropathy in a range of patient ages we retrospectively analyzed the cohort that was used to derive a new classification system for IgA nephropathy. A total of 206 adults and 59 children with proteinuria over 0.5 g/24 h/1.73 m(2) and an eGFR of stage-3 or better were followed for a median of 69 months. At the time of biopsy, compared with adults children had a more frequent history of macroscopic hematuria, lower adjusted blood pressure, and higher eGFR but similar proteinuria. Although their outcome was similar to that of adults, children had received more immunosuppressants and achieved a lower follow-up proteinuria. Renal biopsies were scored for variables identified by an iterative process as reproducible and independent of other lesions. Compared with adults, children had significantly more mesangial and endocapillary hypercellularity, and less segmental glomerulosclerosis and tubulointerstitial damage, the four variables previously identified to predict outcome independent of clinical assessment. Despite these differences, our study found that the cross-sectional correlation between pathology and proteinuria was similar in adults and children. The predictive value of each specific lesion on the rate of decline of renal function or renal survival in IgA nephropathy was not different between children and adults.
Although pathologic classifications exist for several renal diseases, including IgA nephropathy, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, and lupus nephritis, a uniform classification for diabetic nephropathy is lacking. Our aim, commissioned by the Research Committee of the Renal Pathology Society, was to develop a consensus classification combining type1 and type 2 diabetic nephropathies. Such a classification should discriminate lesions by various degrees of severity that would be easy to use internationally in clinical practice. We divide diabetic nephropathy into four hierarchical glomerular lesions with a separate evaluation for degrees of interstitial and vascular involvement. Biopsies diagnosed as diabetic nephropathy are classified as follows: Class I, glomerular basement membrane thickening: isolated glomerular basement membrane thickening and only mild, nonspecific changes by light microscopy that do not meet the criteria of classes II through IV. Class II, mesangial expansion, mild (IIa) or severe (IIb): glomeruli classified as mild or severe mesangial expansion but without nodular sclerosis (Kimmelstiel-Wilson lesions) or global glomerulosclerosis in more than 50% of glomeruli. Class III, nodular sclerosis (Kimmelstiel-Wilson lesions): at least one glomerulus with nodular increase in mesangial matrix (Kimmelstiel-Wilson) without changes described in class IV. Class IV, advanced diabetic glomerulosclerosis: more than 50% global glomerulosclerosis with other clinical or pathologic evidence that sclerosis is attributable to diabetic nephropathy. A good interobserver reproducibility for the four classes of DN was shown (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.84) in a test of this classification.
Crescentic glomerulonephritis (CGN), which frequently results in acute and chronic kidney disease, is characterized by and dependent on glomerular infiltration by macrophages. The mannose receptor (MR) is a pattern recognition receptor implicated in the uptake of endogenous and microbial ligands by macrophages, mesangial cells (MCs), and selected endothelial cells. It is upregulated on alternatively activated macrophages (i.e., macrophages associated with tissue repair and humoral immunity) and involved in antigen presentation to T cells. We used the mouse model of nephrotoxic nephritis to investigate the role of MR in CGN. Our results demonstrate what we believe to be a novel role for MR in the promotion of CGN that is independent of adaptive immune responses. MR-deficient (Mr-/-) mice were protected from CGN despite generating humoral and T cell responses similar to those of WT mice, but they demonstrated diminished macrophage and MC Fc receptor-mediated (FcR-mediated) functions, including phagocytosis and Fc-mediated oxygen burst activity. Mr-/- MCs demonstrated augmented apoptosis compared with WT cells, and this was associated with diminished Akt phosphorylation. Macrophage interaction with apoptotic MCs induced a noninflammatory phenotype that was more marked in Mr-/- macrophages than in WT macrophages. Our results demonstrate that MR augments Fc-mediated function and promotes MC survival. We suggest that targeting MR may provide an alternative therapeutic approach in CGN while minimizing the impact on adaptive immune responses, which are affected by conventional immunosuppressive approaches.
Antibody-mediated glomerulonephritis, including that resulting from immune complexes, is an important cause of renal failure and is in need of more specific and effective treatment. Binding of antibody or immune complexes to Fc receptors activates intracellular signal transduction pathways, including spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk), leading to the production of inflammatory cytokines. We examined the effect of R788 (fostamatinib disodium), an oral prodrug of the selective Syk inhibitor R406, in nephrotoxic nephritis in Wistar-Kyoto rats. Treatment with R788 reduced proteinuria, tissue injury, glomerular macrophage and CD8+ cell numbers, and renal monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) and IL-1beta, even when we started treatment after the onset of glomerulonephritis. When we administered R788 from days 4 to 10, glomerular crescents reduced by 100% (P < 0.01) compared with the vehicle group. When we administered R788 treatment from days 7 to 14, established glomerular crescents reversed (reduced by 21%, P < 0.001), and renal function was better than the vehicle group (P < 0.001). In vitro, R406 downregulated MCP-1 production from mesangial cells and macrophages stimulated with aggregated IgG. These results suggest that Syk is an important therapeutic target for the treatment of glomerulonephritis.
IgA nephropathy is the most common glomerular disease worldwide, yet there is no international consensus for its pathological or clinical classification. Here a new classification for IgA nephropathy is presented by an international consensus working group. The goal of this new system was to identify specific pathological features that more accurately predict risk of progression of renal disease in IgA nephropathy, thus enabling both clinicians and pathologists to improve individual patient prognostication. In a retrospective analysis, sequential clinical data were obtained on 265 adults and children with IgA nephropathy who were followed for a median of 5 years. Renal biopsies from all patients were scored by pathologists blinded to the clinical data for pathological variables identified as reproducible by an iterative process. Four of these variables: (1) the mesangial hypercellularity score, (2) segmental glomerulosclerosis, (3) endocapillary hypercellularity, and (4) tubular atrophy/interstitial fibrosis were subsequently shown to have independent value in predicting renal outcome. These specific pathological features withstood rigorous statistical analysis even after taking into account all clinical indicators available at the time of biopsy as well as during follow-up. The features have prognostic significance and we recommended they be taken into account for predicting outcome independent of the clinical features both at the time of presentation and during follow-up. The value of crescents was not addressed due to their low prevalence in the enrolled cohort.
Pathological classifications in current use for the assessment of glomerular disease have been typically opinion-based and built on the expert assumptions of renal pathologists about lesions historically thought to be relevant to prognosis. Here we develop a unique approach for the pathological classification of a glomerular disease, IgA nephropathy, in which renal pathologists first undertook extensive iterative work to define pathologic variables with acceptable inter-observer reproducibility. Where groups of such features closely correlated, variables were further selected on the basis of least susceptibility to sampling error and ease of scoring in routine practice. This process identified six pathologic variables that could then be used to interrogate prognostic significance independent of the clinical data in IgA nephropathy (described in the accompanying article). These variables were (1) mesangial cellularity score; percentage of glomeruli showing (2) segmental sclerosis, (3) endocapillary hypercellularity, or (4) cellular/fibrocellular crescents; (5) percentage of interstitial fibrosis/tubular atrophy; and finally (6) arteriosclerosis score. Results for interobserver reproducibility of individual pathological features are likely applicable to other glomerulonephritides, but it is not known if the correlations between variables depend on the specific type of glomerular pathobiology. Variables identified in this study withstood rigorous pathology review and statistical testing and we recommend that they become a necessary part of pathology reports for IgA nephropathy. Our methodology, translating a strong evidence-based dataset into a working format, is a model for developing classifications of other types of renal disease.
The P2X7 receptor is a ligand-gated cation channel that is normally expressed by a variety of immune cells, including macrophages and lymphocytes. Because it leads to membrane blebbing, release of IL-1beta, and cell death by apoptosis or necrosis, it is a potential therapeutic target for a variety of inflammatory diseases. Although the P2X7 receptor is usually not detectable in normal renal tissue, we previously reported increased expression of both mRNA and protein in mesangial cells and macrophages infiltrating the glomeruli in animal models of antibody-mediated glomerulonephritis. In this study, we used P2X7-knockout mice in the same experimental model of glomerulonephritis and found that P2X7 deficiency was significantly renoprotective compared with wild-type controls, evidenced by better renal function, a striking reduction in proteinuria, and decreased histologic glomerular injury. In addition, the selective P2X7 antagonist A-438079 prevented the development of antibody-mediated glomerulonephritis in rats. These results support a proinflammatory role for P2X7 in immune-mediated renal injury and suggest that the P2X7 receptor is a potential therapeutic target.
Dense deposit disease (DDD) is strongly associated with the uncontrolled activation of the complement alternative pathway. Factor H (CFH)-deficient (Cfh(-/-)) mice spontaneously develop C3 deposition along the glomerular basement membrane (GBM) with subsequent development of glomerulonephritis with features of DDD, a lesion dependent on C3 activation. In order to understand the role of CFH in preventing renal damage associated with the dysregulation of the alternative pathway we administered purified mouse CFH (mCFH) to Cfh(-/-) mice. 24h following the administration of mCFH we observed an increase in plasma C3 levels with presence of intact C3 in circulation showing that mCFH restored control of C3 activation in fluid phase. mCFH resulted in the reduction of iC3b deposition along the GBM. The exogenous mCFH was readily detectable in plasma but critically not in association with C3 along the GBM. Thus, the reduction in GBM C3 was dependent on the ability of mCFH to regulate C3 activation in plasma. Western blot analysis of glomeruli from Cfh(-/-) mice demonstrated the presence of iC3b. Our data show that the C3 along the GBM in Cfh(-/-) mice is the C3 fragment iC3b and that this is derived from plasma C3 activation. The implication is that successful therapy of DDD is likely to be achieved by therapies that inhibit C3 turnover in plasma.
The morbidity burden associated with anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibody-associated vasculitis is increasing, and many novel biological therapies are now entering the drug development pipeline. There is thus an urgent need to develop a representative animal model to facilitate testing of these agents. We previously examined the effect of antineutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibody on leukocyte-endothelial interactions in WKY rats via immunization with human myeloperoxidase. We now seek to extend this model so that all animals reliably develop crescentic glomerulonephritis and lung hemorrhage. We also wish to investigate whether there is a genetic contribution to vasculitis development in this rat strain. Using escalating doses of human myeloperoxidase, we found that a dose of 1600 microg/kg induced pauci-immune crescentic glomerulonephritis and lung hemorrhage in all immunized animals. We also found that the addition of pertussis toxin and killed Mycobacterium tuberculosis to the adjuvant when immunizing with 400 microg/kg of myeloperoxidase resulted in crescentic glomerulonephritis and lung hemorrhage in all animals. However, when Lewis, Wistar Furth, or Brown Norway rats were immunized using a similar protocol, no animals developed hematuria or glomerulonephritis, despite having identical levels of anti-human myeloperoxidase antibodies. We conclude that, by adjusting the immunization regimen, all WKY rats immunized with myeloperoxidase develop experimental autoimmune vasculitis, thus facilitating future therapeutic studies. The resistance of Lewis rats to experimental autoimmune vasculitis provides a genetic basis for future studies of anti-myeloperoxidase antibody-associated vasculitis.
Familial lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase deficiency (FLD) is a monogenic autosomal recessive condition, affecting cholesterol esterification and leads to progressive renal impairment and end-stage renal failure, probably due to the abnormal lipoprotein (X) (Lp(X)). We report a case of FLD, whom we treated with a combination of nicotinic acid 1.5g nocte and fenofibrate M/R 160mg od and report changes in lipid profile and Lp(X), after six weeks and serum creatinine and urine albumin/creatinine ratio after 12 months. We assessed the cardiovascular risk using electron beam computed tomography. At baseline total cholesterol was 6.61mmol/L; HDL cholesterol 0.57mmol/L; Lp(X) cholesterol 3.24mmol/L; triglyceride 4.13mmol/L; apolipoprotein A1 46mg/dL; and apolipoprotein B 53mg/dL. After six weeks of treatment his total cholesterol was 4.16; HDL cholesterol 0.52; Lp(X) cholesterol 1.73mmol/L; triglyceride 1.80mmol/L; apolipoprotein A1 36mg/dL; and apolipoprotein B 50mg/dL. Baseline serum creatinine was 106micromol/L and urine albumin/creatinine ratio was 127.3mg/mmol and after 12 months was 101micromol/L and 31.5mg/mmol respectively. His coronary artery calcification score was zero. We have shown, we believe for the first time, that combination lipid modifying therapy in FLD leads to a reduction in Lp(X) concentration and an associated reduction in urine albumin excretion at 12 months.
Dendritic cells (DCs) are known to produce C1q, the initiator of the classical complement pathway. We demonstrate that murine DCs deficient in C1q (C1qa(-/-)) are poorer than wild-type (WT) DCs at eliciting the proliferation and Th1 differentiation of antigen-specific T cells. These defects result from decreased production of IL-12p70 by C1qa(-/-) DCs and impaired expression of costimulatory molecules CD80 and CD86 in response to CD40 ligation. The defective production of IL-12p70 and the reduced expression of CD80 and CD86 by C1qa(-/-) DCs were specifically mediated via CD40 ligation, as normal levels of IL-12p70 and CD80/86 were observed after ligation of Toll-like receptors (TLRs) on C1qa(-/-) DCs. CD40 ligation on C1qa(-/-) DCs, but not TLR ligation, results in decreased phosphorylation of p38 and ERK1/2 kinases. A strong colocalization of CD40 and C1q was observed by confocal microscopy upon CD40 ligation (but not TLR ligation) on DCs. Furthermore, human DCs from 2 C1q-deficient patients were found to have impaired IL-12p70 production in response to CD40L stimulation. Our novel data suggest that C1q augments the production of IL-12p70 by mouse and human DCs after CD40 triggering and plays important roles in sustaining the maturation of DCs and guiding the activation of T cells.
Reduced FCGR3B copy number is associated with increased risk of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The five FCGR2/FCGR3 genes are arranged across two highly paralogous genomic segments on chromosome 1q23. Previous studies have suggested mechanisms for structural rearrangements at the FCGR2/FCGR3 locus and have proposed mechanisms whereby altered FCGR3B copy number predisposes to autoimmunity, but the high degree of sequence similarity between paralogous segments has prevented precise definition of the molecular events and their functional consequences. To pursue the genomic pathology associated with FCGR3B copy-number variation, we integrated sequencing data from fosmid and bacterial artificial chromosome clones and sequence-captured DNA from FCGR3B-deleted genomes to establish a detailed map of allelic and paralogous sequence variation across the FCGR2/FCGR3 locus. This analysis identified two highly paralogous 24.5 kb blocks within the FCGR2C/FCGR3B/FCGR2B locus that are devoid of nonpolymorphic paralogous sequence variations and that define the limits of the genomic regions in which nonallelic homologous recombination leads to FCGR2C/FCGR3B copy-number variation. Further, the data showed evidence of swapping of haplotype blocks between these highly paralogous blocks that most likely arose from sequential ancestral recombination events across the region. Functionally, we found by flow cytometry, immunoblotting and cDNA sequencing that individuals with FCGR3B-deleted alleles show ectopic presence of Fc?RIIb on natural killer (NK) cells. We conclude that FCGR3B deletion juxtaposes the 5-regulatory sequences of FCGR2C with the coding sequence of FCGR2B, creating a chimeric gene that results in an ectopic accumulation of Fc?RIIb on NK cells and provides an explanation for SLE risk associated with reduced FCGR3B gene copy number.
Fc?RIIb is the sole inhibitory FcR for IgG in humans and mice, where it is involved in the negative regulation of Ab production and cellular activation. Fc?RIIb-deficient mice show exacerbated disease following the induction of nephrotoxic nephritis (NTN). In this study, we determined the cellular origin of the Fc?RIIb-knockout phenotype by inducing NTN in mice with a deficiency of Fc?RIIb on either B cells alone (Fc?RIIB(fl/fl)/CD19Cre(+)) or myeloid cells (Fc?RIIB(fl/fl)/CEBP?Cre(+)). Deletion of Fc?RIIb from B cells did not increase susceptibility to NTN, compared with wild-type (WT) mice, despite higher Ab titers in the Fc?RIIB(fl/fl)/CD19Cre(+) mice compared with the WT littermate controls. In contrast, mice lacking Fc?RIIb on myeloid cells had exacerbated disease as measured by increased glomerular thrombosis, glomerular crescents, albuminuria, serum urea, and glomerular neutrophil infiltration when compared with WT littermate controls. The role for Fc?RIIb expression on radioresistant intrinsic renal cells in the protection from NTN was then investigated using bone marrow chimeric mice. Fc?RIIb(-/-) mice transplanted with Fc?RIIb(-/-) bone marrow were more susceptible to NTN than WT mice transplanted with Fc?RIIb(-/-) bone marrow, indicating that the presence of WT intrinsic renal cells protects from NTN. These results demonstrate that Fc?RIIb on myeloid cells plays a major role in protection from NTN, and therefore, augmentation of Fc?RIIb on these cells could be a therapeutic target in human Ab-mediated glomerulonephritis. Where there was a lack of Fc?RIIb on circulating myeloid cells, expression of Fc?RIIb on intrinsic renal cells provided an additional level of protection from Ab-mediated glomerulonephritis.
Complement factor H (CFH) is a negative regulator of the alternative pathway of complement, and properdin is the sole positive regulator. CFH-deficient mice (CFH(-/-)) develop uncontrolled C3 activation and spontaneous renal disease characterized by accumulation of C3 along the glomerular basement membrane, but the role of properdin in the pathophysiology is unknown. Here, we studied mice deficient in both CFH and properdin (CFH(-/-).P(-/-)). Although CFH(-/-) mice had plasma depleted of both C3 and C5, CFH(-/-).P(-/-) animals exhibited depletion of C3 predominantly, recapitulating the plasma complement profile observed in humans with properdin-independent C3 nephritic factors. Glomerular inflammation, thickening of the capillary wall, and glomerular C3 staining were significantly increased in CFH(-/-).P(-/-) compared with CFH(-/-) mice. We previously reported that exogenous CFH ameliorates C3 staining of the glomerular basement membrane and triggers the appearance of mesangial C3 deposits in CFH(-/-) mice; here, we show that these effects require properdin. In summary, during uncontrolled activation of C3 driven by complete CFH deficiency, properdin influences the intraglomerular localization of C3, suggesting that therapeutic inhibition of properdin would be detrimental in this setting.
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