Childhood nephrotic syndrome is a condition managed by general paediatricians and paediatric nephrologists. Whether treating a first presentation or a relapse, the clinician requires expertise in order to minimise the risk of serious complications and optimise long-term care. Indeed, many children suffer a difficult relapsing course in their disease, warranting consideration of second-line therapies. The last two decades have witnessed a growing knowledge of the condition and increased complexity of diagnostic and therapeutic options, which poses a challenge for the general paediatrician, given the condition's relative rarity in daily practice. This review aims to familiarise the reader with some of the most important recent developments and particularly to provide an insight into what management options are available and when it may be appropriate to seek advice from a nephrologist.
The AGEs and the receptor for AGEs (RAGE) are known contributors to diabetic complications. RAGE also has a physiological role in innate and adaptive immunity and is expressed on immune cells. The aim of this study was to determine whether deletion of RAGE from bone-marrow-derived cells influences the pathogenesis of experimental diabetic nephropathy.
Unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) is a well-characterized murine model of renal inflammation leading to fibrosis. Renal dendritic cells (DCs) constitute a significant portion of kidney leukocytes and may participate in local inflammation and have critical roles in antigen presentation. The heterogeneity in renal DC populations and surface marker overlap with monocytes/macrophages has made studying renal DCs difficult. These studies used CD11c-promoter driven reporter/depletion mice to study DCs in vivo. Studying early local inflammatory events (day 3 of UUO), in vivo multiphoton imaging of the intact kidney of CD11c reporter mice revealed more dendrite extensions and increased activity of renal DCs in real time. Phenotypic analysis suggested resident DC maturation in obstructed kidneys with increased CD11b and less F4/80 expressed. CD11b(hi) Gr-1(+) inflammatory DCs were also present in obstructed kidneys. T-cell receptor transgenic mice revealed enhanced antigen-presenting capacity of renal DCs after UUO, with increased antigen-specific T-cell proliferation in vivo and ex vivo. However, conditional DC ablation at days 0, 2, or 4 did not attenuate fibrosis or apoptosis 7 days after UUO, and depletion at 7 days did not alter outcomes at day 14. Therefore, after UUO, renal DCs exhibit inflammatory morphological and functional characteristics and are more effective antigen-presenting cells, but they do not directly contribute to tubulointerstitial damage and fibrosis.
Th1 effector CD4+ cells contribute to the pathogenesis of proliferative and crescentic glomerulonephritis, but whether effector Th17 cells also contribute is unknown. We compared the involvement of Th1 and Th17 cells in a mouse model of antigen-specific glomerulonephritis in which effector CD4+ cells are the only components of adaptive immunity that induce injury. We planted the antigen ovalbumin on the glomerular basement membrane of Rag1(-/-) mice using an ovalbumin-conjugated non-nephritogenic IgG1 monoclonal antibody against alpha3(IV) collagen. Subsequent injection of either Th1- or Th17-polarized ovalbumin-specific CD4+ effector cells induced proliferative glomerulonephritis. Mice injected with Th1 cells developed progressive albuminuria over 21 d, histologic injury including 5.5 +/- 0.9% crescent formation/segmental necrosis, elevated urinary nitrate, and increased renal NOS2, CCL2, and CCL5 mRNA. Mice injected with Th17 cells developed albuminuria by 3 d; compared with Th1-injected mice, their glomeruli contained more neutrophils and greater expression of renal CXCL1 mRNA. In conclusion, Th1 and Th17 effector cells can induce glomerular injury. Understanding how these two subsets mediate proliferative forms of glomerulonephritis may lead to targeted therapies.
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