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Basement membranes are delicate, nanoscale and pliable sheets of extracellular matrices that often act as linings or partitions in organisms. Previously considered as passive scaffolds segregating polarized cells, such as epithelial or endothelial cells, from the underlying mesenchyme, basement membranes have now reached the center stage of biology. They play a multitude of roles from blood filtration to muscle homeostasis, from storing growth factors and cytokines to controlling angiogenesis and tumor growth, from maintaining skin integrity and neuromuscular structure to affecting adipogenesis and fibrosis. Here, we will address developmental, structural and biochemical aspects of basement membranes and discuss some of the pathogenetic mechanisms causing diseases linked to abnormal basement membranes.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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.
The strongly immunogenic environment in autoimmune diseases such as lupus may pose a stringent barrier to transplantation. Despite available murine models of lupus, transplant tolerance in this setting has yet to be fully investigated in highly penetrant genetic models of disease. Such studies are of clear clinical importance because lupus is a transplant indication in which transplanted kidneys have a substantially increased risk of rejection including a role for recurrent nephritis. In the fully penetrant B6.SLE123 mouse, we determined that CD4 T follicular helper and germinal center B cells were significantly expanded compared with healthy controls. We traced this expansion to resistance of effector CD4 T and B cells in B6.SLE123 mice to regulation by either CD4 T regulatory cells (CD4Tregs) or CD8 T regulatory cells (CD8Tregs), despite demonstrating normal function by Tregs in this strain. Finally, we determined that B6.SLE123 mice resist anti-CD45RB-mediated tolerance induction to foreign islet allografts, even in the absence of islet autoimmunity. Overall, B6.SLE123 lupus-prone mice are highly resistant to transplant tolerance induction, which provides a new model of failed tolerance in autoimmunity that may elucidate barriers to clinical transplantation in lupus through further cellular and genetic dissection.
© Copyright 2015 The American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons.
Most patients with SLE develop kidney disease related to this systemic underlying disease process. Lupus nephritis is an important cause of morbidity and even mortality in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. Lupus nephritis has diverse morphologic manifestations with varying clinical presentations and consequences. The pathogeneses involve immune complexes, which can deposit anywhere in the kidney, and other mechanisms, including endothelial injury, podocytopathy, and tubulointerstitial injury. Treatment and prognosis accordingly range from excellent even with only observation with minimal mesangial deposits, to kidney failure despite aggressive immunosuppression in patients with severe proliferative disease. Renal biopsy plays a crucial role in the diagnosis of the specific form of lupus nephritis in any patient. However, the role of the renal biopsy in prediction of outcome, treatment, and prognosis has been controversial. We will review the current classification of lupus nephritis and the value of renal biopsy in the management of these patients.
Autoantibodies are central to the pathogenesis of several autoimmune diseases including systemic lupus erythematosus. Plasma cells secrete these autoantibodies, but the anatomical sites of these cells are not well defined. Here, we found that although dsDNA-specific plasma cells in NZB/W mice were present in spleen and bone marrow, a large number were in the kidneys and their number correlated with the serum dsDNA-IgG titer. We observed renal plasma cells only in mice with nephritis, where they located mainly to the tubulointerstitium of the cortex and outer medulla. These cells had the phenotypic characteristics of fully differentiated plasma cells and, similar to long-lived bone marrow plasma cells, they were not in cell cycle. In patients with lupus nephritis, plasma cells were often present in the medulla in those with the most severe disease, especially combined proliferative and membranous lupus nephritis. The identification of the kidney as a major site of autoreactive plasma cells has implications for our understanding of the pathogenesis of lupus nephritis and for strategies to deplete autoreactive plasma cells, a long-standing therapeutic aim.
Anti-glomerular basement membrane (anti-GBM) disease is an aggressive form of glomerulonephritis, usually mediated by immunoglobulin G (IgG) autoantibodies to the noncollagenous (NC1) domain of alpha 3(IV) collagen. Less is known about the target antigen(s) in patients with atypical anti-GBM disease involving IgA autoantibodies. We report a new case of IgA anti-GBM disease in a patient with a history of proliferative lupus nephritis who presented with increasing creatinine levels, proteinuria, and hematuria, but no clinical or serological evidence of lupus recurrence. Renal biopsy showed focal and segmental necrotizing glomerulonephritis with strong linear capillary loop IgA staining by means of immunofluorescence. Serological test results were negative for IgG or IgA autoantibodies against the alpha 3NC1 domain. By means of immunoblotting, IgA from patient serum bound to 38- to 48-kd antigens collagenase-solubilized from human GBM, but not to purified NC1 domains of GBM collagen IV. The target of patient's IgA autoantibodies thus was identified as a novel GBM antigen, distinct from the alpha 3NC1 domain or other known targets of anti-GBM IgA autoantibodies. Clinical resolution was attained by means of conventional treatment with steroids and cyclophosphamide. The diversity of antigens recognized by anti-GBM IgA autoantibodies highlights the importance of renal biopsy for the reliable diagnosis of this rare condition because conventional serological immunoassays likely would yield false-negative results.
This study was conducted to determine kidney transplantation (KTx) outcomes for Greek patients with renal failure caused by lupus nephritis (LN) compared with matched controls, kidney recipients with other causes of end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Twenty-six patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) subjected to 26 kidney transplants were studied. For comparative purposes a case-control group was selected, matched for gender, source of donor, age and time of KTx. Patient and graft survival estimates were calculated with the Kaplan-Meier product limit estimator and survival estimates were compared with the log-rank test. All patients received cyclosporine or tacrolimus in combination with azathioprine or mycophenolate mofetil for chronic immunosuppression in addition to steroids. Fourteen transplants were from living-related donors and 12 were from deceased donors. The graft survival rates for lupus patients were 88% at 1 year, 67% at 5 years, 38% at 10 years, poorer than the control survival rates of 92%, 92% and 84% (P=0.004). Patient survival in the lupus group did not differ from that of the controls. Survival in the lupus group was 92% at 1 year, 77% at 5 years and 77% at 10 years vs. 96%, 92% and 92% (P=0.26). Chronic allograft nephropathy was the major cause of graft loss. Recurrent LN was detected in two patients, but only one lead to graft failure. SLE patients compared with controls had significantly higher rates of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, infections and malignancies. Compared with matched controls, SLE patients had inferior but still satisfactory graft survival rates, whereas patient survival rates were similar.
OBJECTIVE - CD1d-reactive invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells secrete multiple cytokines upon T cell receptor (TCR) engagement and modulate many immune-mediated conditions. The purpose of this study was to examine the role of these cells in the development of autoimmune disease in genetically lupus-prone (NZBxNZW)F1 (BWF1) mice.
METHODS - The CD1d1-null genotype was crossed onto the NZB and NZW backgrounds to establish CD1d1-knockout (CD1d0) BWF1 mice. CD1d0 mice and their wild-type littermates were monitored for the development of nephritis and assessed for cytokine responses to CD1d-restricted glycolipid alpha-galactosylceramide (alphaGalCer), anti-CD3 antibody, and concanavalin A (Con A). Thymus and spleen cells were stained with CD1d tetramers that had been loaded with alphaGalCer or its analog PBS-57 to detect iNKT cells, and the cells were compared between BWF1 mice and class II major histocompatibility complex-matched nonautoimmune strains, including BALB/c, (BALB/cxNZW)F1 (CWF1), and NZW.
RESULTS - CD1d0 BWF1 mice had more severe nephritis than did their wild-type littermates. Although iNKT cells and iNKT cell responses were absent in CD1d0 BWF1 mice, the CD1d0 mice continued to have significant numbers of interferon-gamma-producing NKT-like (CD1d-independent TCRbeta+,NK1.1+ and/or DX5+) cells. CD1d deficiency also influenced cytokine responses by conventional T cells: upon in vitro stimulation of splenocytes with Con A or anti-CD3, type 2 cytokine levels were reduced, whereas type 1 cytokine levels were increased or unchanged in CD1d0 mice as compared with their wild-type littermates. Additionally, numbers of thymic iNKT cells were lower in young wild-type BWF1 mice than in nonautoimmune strains.
CONCLUSION - Germline deletion of CD1d exacerbates lupus in BWF1 mice. This finding, together with reduced thymic iNKT cells in young BWF1 mice as compared with nonautoimmune strains, implies a regulatory role of CD1d and iNKT cells during the development of lupus.
BACKGROUND - The fibroblast growth factor (FGF) family has functions in development, cell proliferation, migration, and differentiation. While FGF-2 induces fibrosis, the role of FGF-1 in inflammation and fibrosis is less defined. We examined the expression of FGF-1 and FGF receptor (FGFR-1) to determine if renal diseases with varying etiologies of inflammation, including lupus nephritis (LN), acute interstitial nephritis (AIN) and acute rejection superimposed on chronic allograft nephropathy (CAN), showed varying patterns of expression. We also examined the expression of fibroblast-specific protein-1 (FSP-1), which has been linked to epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and fibrosis, to determine whether it was linked to potential profibrotic and inflammatory FGF-1 mechanisms.
METHODS - Proliferative LN (PLN) (N= 12), nonproliferative lupus nephritis (NPLN) (N= 5), AIN (N= 6), CAN (N= 4), and normal kidneys (N= 3) were studied. FGF, FGFR-1, and FSP-1 were localized by immunohistochemistry, and intensity scored on a 0 to 3+ scale. Double staining with CD68 and separate immunohistochemical staining for CD4 and CD8 with serial sections analysis were done to identify if T lymphocytes or macrophages showed staining for FGF-1 and FGFR-1 or FSP-1.
RESULTS - In normal kidneys, FGF-1 was expressed in mesangial cells (0.67 +/- 0.58), glomerular endothelial (0.67 +/- 0.58), visceral, and parietal epithelial cells (1.67 +/- 0.58). FGFR-1 showed a similar pattern of staining but also was expressed in tubular epithelium, and arterial endothelium and smooth muscle. Expression of FGF-1 was increased over normal in glomerular parenchymal cells only in CAN in podocytes (2.30 +/- 0.58 vs. 3.00 +/- 0.00) (P < 0.05) and parietal epithelial cells (1.67 +/- 0.58 vs. 2.25 +/- 0.50) (P < 0.05). Infiltrating glomerular and interstitial inflammatory cells in diseased glomeruli also expressed FGF-1 and FGFR-1. Tubular cells expressed slightly increased FGFR-1 in renal diseases vs. normal, whereas tubules remained negative for FGF-1 in diseased kidneys. FSP-1 expression was prominent in the interstitium in all kidneys with interstitial inflammation, and most prominent in CAN. Interstitial FSP-1+ cells were consistent with a myofibroblast-type morphology, and did not stain with CD-68. FSP-1 expression was closely associated with inflammatory cells expressing FGF-1 and FGFR-1. FSP-1 also showed positivity within crescents and occasional podocytes in PLN.
CONCLUSION - The expression of FGF-1 and FGFR-1 in infiltrating lymphocytes and macrophages, and of FGFR-1 in tubules, is supportive, but does not prove causality, of the possibility that FGF-1 might have both autocrine and paracrine functions in renal inflammation. However, the initial stimulus for renal inflammation, whether immune complex, hypersensitivity or rejection, did not alter expression patterns of FGF-1 or its receptor. The colocalization of inflammatory infiltrates with interstitial fibrosis supports the possibility of a contribution of FGF-1 for chemotaxis and associated fibrosis, further supported by interstitial FSP-1 expression closely associated with these inflammatory cells expressing FGF-1 and FGFR-1.
OBJECTIVE - To evaluate the safety and efficacy of mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) treatment in patients with lupus nephritis.
METHODS - Eighteen patients with biopsy-proven lupus nephritis (17 females, one male; mean age 31.6 yr; mean lupus duration 92 months; mean duration of nephritis 57 months; nine with focal proliferative glomerulonephritis, three with diffuse proliferative glomerulonephritis, six with membranous nephropathy) were included. With five exceptions, all patients had been treated previously with cyclophosphamide and were selected because of either toxicity or inadequate clinical response to treatment. MMF was given at 2 g daily in combination with steroids for up to 31 months (mean 15.3 months). The side-effects of MMF were recorded and efficacy was assessed as the renal function profile.
RESULTS - Complete remission was observed in 10/18 patients and another 4/18 went into partial remission. Both creatinine clearance and proteinuria were significantly improved during MMF treatment in patients with the proliferative forms of nephritis. MMF demonstrated a steroid-sparing effect in the whole population. Treatment failure was recorded in 4/18 patients, all with membranous nephropathy. Two patients developed gastrointestinal complaints and infectious meningitis occurred in one patient.
CONCLUSION - MMF appears to be an efficacious and safe treatment in patients with proliferative forms of lupus nephritis who do not respond to or cannot tolerate conventional treatment. The efficacy of MMF in lupus membranous nephropathy remains unclear.