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BACKGROUND - Goodpasture syndrome (GP) is a pulmonary-renal syndrome characterized by autoantibodies directed against the NC1 domains of collagen IV in the glomerular and alveolar basement membranes. Exposure of the cryptic epitope is thought to occur disruption of sulfilimine crosslinks in the NC1 domain that are formed by peroxidasin-dependent production of hypobromous acid. Peroxidasin, a heme peroxidase, has significant structural overlap with myeloperoxidase (MPO), and MPO-ANCA is present both before and at GP diagnosis in some patients. We determined whether autoantibodies directed against peroxidasin are also detected in GP.
METHODS - We used ELISA and competitive binding assays to assess the presence and specificity of autoantibodies in serum from patients with GP and healthy controls. Peroxidasin activity was fluorometrically measured in the presence of partially purified IgG from patients or controls. Clinical disease severity was gauged by Birmingham Vasculitis Activity Score.
RESULTS - We detected anti-peroxidasin autoantibodies in the serum of patients with GP before and at clinical presentation. Enriched anti-peroxidasin antibodies inhibited peroxidasin-mediated hypobromous acid production . The anti-peroxidasin antibodies recognized peroxidasin but not soluble MPO. However, these antibodies did crossreact with MPO coated on the polystyrene plates used for ELISAs. Finally, peroxidasin-specific antibodies were also found in serum from patients with anti-MPO vasculitis and were associated with significantly more active clinical disease.
CONCLUSIONS - Anti-peroxidasin antibodies, which would previously have been mischaracterized, are associated with pulmonary-renal syndromes, both before and during active disease, and may be involved in disease activity and pathogenesis in some patients.
Copyright © 2018 by the American Society of Nephrology.
Previous studies by us and others have indicated that renal epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFR) are activated in models of diabetic nephropathy (DN) and that inhibition of EGFR activity protects against progressive DN in type 1 diabetes. In this study we examined whether inhibition of EGFR activation would affect the development of DN in a mouse model of accelerated type 2 diabetes (BKS with endothelial nitric oxide knockout [eNOS]). eNOS mice received vehicle or erlotinib, an inhibitor of EGFR tyrosine kinase activity, beginning at 8 weeks of age and were sacrificed at 20 weeks of age. In addition, genetic models inhibiting EGFR activity () and transforming growth factor-α () were studied in this model of DN in type 2 diabetes. Compared with vehicle-treated mice, erlotinib-treated animals had less albuminuria and glomerulosclerosis, less podocyte loss, and smaller amounts of renal profibrotic and fibrotic components. Erlotinib treatment decreased renal oxidative stress, macrophage and T-lymphocyte infiltration, and the production of proinflammatory cytokines. Erlotinib treatment also preserved pancreas function, and these mice had higher blood insulin levels at 20 weeks, decreased basal blood glucose levels, increased glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, and increased blood levels of adiponectin compared with vehicle-treated mice. Similar to the aforementioned results, both and diabetic mice also had attenuated DN, preserved pancreas function, and decreased basal blood glucose levels. In this mouse model of accelerated DN, inhibition of EGFR signaling led to increased longevity.
© 2018 by the American Diabetes Association.
The glomerular basement membrane (GBM) is an essential component of the glomerular filtration barrier. Heparan sulfate proteoglycans such as agrin are major components of the GBM, along with α345(IV) collagen, laminin-521 and nidogen. A loss of GBM heparan sulfate chains is associated with proteinuria in several glomerular diseases and may contribute to the underlying pathology. As the major determinants of the anionic charge of the GBM, heparan sulfate chains have been thought to impart charge selectivity to the glomerular filtration, a view challenged by the negligible albuminuria in mice that lack heparan sulfate in the GBM. Recent studies provide increasing evidence that heparan sulfate chains modulate local complement activation by recruiting complement regulatory protein factor H, the major inhibitor of the alternative pathway in plasma. Factor H selectively inactivates C3b bound to surfaces bearing host-specific polyanions such as heparan sulfate, thus limiting complement activation on self surfaces such as the GBM, which are not protected by cell-bound complement regulators. We discuss mechanisms whereby the acquired loss of GBM heparan sulfate can impair the local regulation of the alternative pathway, exacerbating complement activation and glomerular injury in immune-mediated kidney diseases such as membranous nephropathy and lupus nephritis.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Mutations in the complement regulatory proteins are associated with several different diseases. Although these mutations cause dysregulated alternative pathway activation throughout the body, the kidneys are the most common site of injury. The susceptibility of the kidney to alternative pathway-mediated injury may be due to limited expression of complement regulatory proteins on several tissue surfaces within the kidney. To examine the roles of the complement regulatory proteins factor H and Crry in protecting distinct renal surfaces from alternative pathway mediated injury, we generated mice with targeted deletions of the genes for both proteins. Surprisingly, mice with combined genetic deletions of factor H and Crry developed significantly milder renal injury than mice deficient in only factor H. Deficiency of both factor H and Crry was associated with C3 deposition at multiple locations within the kidney, but glomerular C3 deposition was lower than that in factor H alone deficient mice. Thus, factor H and Crry are critical for regulating complement activation at distinct anatomic sites within the kidney. However, widespread activation of the alternative pathway reduces injury by depleting the pool of C3 available at any 1 location.
Copyright © 2016 International Society of Nephrology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
We report a 68-year-old Japanese female patient with subepidermal blistering disease with autoantibodies to multiple laminins, who subsequently developed membranous glomerulonephropathy. At skin disease stage, immunofluorescence demonstrated IgG anti-basement membrane zone antibodies reactive with dermal side of NaCl-split skin. Immunoblotting of human dermal extract, purified laminin-332, hemidesmosome-rich fraction and laminin-521 trimer recombinant protein (RP) detected laminin γ-1 and α-3 and γ-2 subunits of laminin-332. Three years after skin lesions disappeared, nephrotic symptoms developed. Antibodies to α-3 chain of type IV collagen (COL4A3) were negative, thus excluding the diagnosis of Goodpasture syndrome. All anti-laminin antibodies disappeared. Additional IB and ELISA studies of RPs of various COL4 chains revealed reactivity with COL4A5, but not with COL4A6 or COL4A3. Although diagnosis of anti-laminin γ-1 (p200) pemphigoid or anti-laminin-332-type mucous membrane pemphigoid could not be made, this case was similar to previous cases with autoantibodies to COL4A5 and/or COL4A6.
The neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn) is a major regulator of IgG and albumin homeostasis systemically and in the kidneys. We investigated the role of FcRn in the development of immune complex-mediated glomerular disease in mice. C57Bl/6 mice immunized with the noncollagenous domain of the α3 chain of type IV collagen (α3NC1) developed albuminuria associated with granular capillary loop deposition of exogenous antigen, mouse IgG, C3 and C5b-9, and podocyte injury. High-resolution imaging showed abundant IgG deposition in the expanded glomerular basement membrane, especially in regions corresponding to subepithelial electron dense deposits. FcRn-null and -humanized mice immunized with α3NC1 developed no albuminuria and had lower levels of serum IgG anti-α3NC1 antibodies and reduced glomerular deposition of IgG, antigen, and complement. Our results show that FcRn promotes the formation of subepithelial immune complexes and subsequent glomerular pathology leading to proteinuria, potentially by maintaining higher serum levels of pathogenic IgG antibodies. Therefore, reducing pathogenic IgG levels by pharmacologic inhibition of FcRn may provide a novel approach for the treatment of immune complex-mediated glomerular diseases. As proof of concept, we showed that a peptide inhibiting the interaction between human FcRn and human IgG accelerated the degradation of human IgG anti-α3NC1 autoantibodies injected into FCRN-humanized mice as effectively as genetic ablation of FcRn, thus preventing the glomerular deposition of immune complexes containing human IgG.
Copyright © 2014 by the American Society of Nephrology.
Microscopic polyangiitis is an autoimmune small-vessel vasculitis that often manifests as focal and necrotizing glomerulonephritis and renal failure. Antineutrophil cytoplasmic Abs (ANCAs) specific for myeloperoxidase (MPO) play a role in this disease, but the role of autoreactive MPO-specific CD4(+) T cells is uncertain. By screening overlapping peptides of 20 amino acids spanning the MPO molecule, we identified an immunodominant MPO CD4(+) T-cell epitope (MPO(409-428)). Immunizing C57BL/6 mice with MPO(409-428) induced focal necrotizing glomerulonephritis similar to that seen after whole MPO immunization, when MPO was deposited in glomeruli. Transfer of an MPO(409-428)-specific CD4(+) T-cell clone to Rag1(-/-) mice induced focal necrotizing glomerulonephritis when glomerular MPO deposition was induced either by passive transfer of MPO-ANCA and LPS or by planting MPO(409-428) conjugated to a murine antiglomerular basement membrane mAb. MPO(409-428) also induced biologically active anti-MPO Abs in mice. The MPO(409-428) epitope has a minimum immunogenic core region of 11 amino acids, MPO(415-426), with several critical residues. ANCA-activated neutrophils not only induce injury but lodged the autoantigen MPO in glomeruli, allowing autoreactive anti-MPO CD4(+) cells to induce delayed type hypersensitivity-like necrotizing glomerular lesions. These studies identify an immunodominant MPO T-cell epitope and redefine how effector responses can induce injury in MPO-ANCA-associated microscopic polyangiitis.
Kim-1/Tim-1 is an apoptotic-cell phagocytosis and scavenger receptor that is most highly upregulated in proximal tubular epithelium in acute and chronic kidney injury. While Kim-1/Tim-1 has been proposed to be a costimulatory molecule for immune cells, its potential immunological role has been controversial. In the presence of very high epithelial cell expression, understanding the influence of immune cell Kim-1/Tim-1 expression in kidney injury relies on a better definition of its functional significance in immune cells and better characterization of antibodies used to probe function.
Glomerulosclerosis is characterized by excessive deposition of extracellular matrix within the glomeruli of the kidney, glomerular cell death, and subsequent loss of functional glomeruli. While in physiological situations the levels of extracellular matrix components are kept constant by a tight balance between formation and degradation, in the case of injury that results in fibrosis there is increased matrix deposition relative to its breakdown. Multiple factors control matrix synthesis and degradation, thus contributing to the development of glomerulosclerosis. This review focuses primarily on the role of cell-matrix interactions, which play a critical role in governing glomerular cell cues in both healthy and diseased kidneys. Cell-extracellular matrix interactions are made possible by various cellular receptors including integrins, discoidin domain receptors, and dystroglycan. Upon binding to a selective extracellular matrix protein, these receptors activate intracellular signaling pathways that can either downregulate or upregulate matrix synthesis and deposition. This, together with the observation that changes in the expression levels of matrix receptors have been documented in glomerular disease, clearly emphasizes the contribution of cell-matrix interactions in glomerular injury. Understanding the molecular mechanisms whereby extracellular matrix receptors regulate matrix homeostasis in the course of glomerular injury is therefore critical for devising more effective therapies to treat and ideally prevent glomerulosclerosis.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Membranous nephropathy (MN) is a leading cause of nephrotic syndrome in adults and a significant cause of end-stage renal disease, yet current therapies are nonspecific, toxic, and often ineffective. The development of novel targeted therapies requires a detailed understanding of the pathogenic mechanisms, but progress is hampered by the lack of a robust mouse model of disease. We report that DBA/1 mice as well as congenic FcγRIII(-/-) and FcRγ(-/-) mice immunized with a fragment of α3(IV) collagen developed massive albuminuria and nephrotic syndrome, because of subepithelial deposits of mouse IgG and C3 with corresponding basement membrane reaction and podocyte foot process effacement. The clinical presentation and histopathologic findings were characteristic of MN. Although immunized mice produced genuine anti-α3NC1 autoantibodies that bound to kidney and lung basement membranes, neither crescentic glomerulonephritis nor alveolitis ensued, likely because of the predominance of mouse IgG1 over IgG2a and IgG2b autoantibodies. The ablation of activating IgG Fc receptors did not ameliorate injury, implicating subepithelial deposition of immune complexes and consequent complement activation as a major effector pathway. We have thus established an active model of murine MN. This model, leveraged by the availability of genetically engineered mice and mouse-specific reagents, will be instrumental in studying the pathogenesis of MN and evaluating the efficacy of novel experimental therapies.