Neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin is instrumental in the pathogenesis of antibody-mediated nephritis in mice.
ABSTRACT: The mechanism by which anti-DNA antibodies mediate lupus nephritis has yet to be conclusively determined. Previously, we found that treatment of mesangial cells with anti-DNA antibodies induced high expression of neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), an iron-binding protein up-regulated in response to kidney injury. We undertook this study to determine whether NGAL is instrumental in the pathogenesis of nephritis, is induced as part of repair, or is irrelevant to damage/repair pathways.To investigate the role of NGAL in antibody-mediated nephritis, we induced nephrotoxic nephritis by passive antibody transfer to 129/SyJ and C57BL/6 mice. To determine if NGAL up-regulation is instrumental, we compared the severity of renal damage in NGAL wild-type mice and NGAL-knockout mice following induction of nephrotoxic nephritis.We found that kidney NGAL expression, as well as urine NGAL levels, were significantly increased in mice with nephrotoxic nephritis as compared to control-injected mice. Tight correlations were observed between NGAL expression, renal histopathology, and urine NGAL excretion. NGAL-knockout mice had attenuated proteinuria and improved renal histopathology compared to wild-type mice. Similarly, following nephritis induction, NGAL injection significantly exacerbated nephritis and decreased survival. NGAL induced apoptosis via caspase 3 activation and up-regulated inflammatory gene expression in kidney cells in vitro and when injected in vivo.We conclude that kidney binding of pathogenic antibodies stimulates local expression of NGAL, which plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of nephritis via promotion of inflammation and apoptosis. NGAL blockade may be a novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of nephritis mediated by pathogenic antibodies, including anti-glomerular basement membrane disease and lupus nephritis.
Project description:Previously it was shown that the TNF superfamily member TWEAK (TNFSF12) acts through its receptor, Fn14, to promote proinflammatory responses in kidney cells, including the production of MCP-1, RANTES, IP-10 and KC. In addition, the TWEAK/Fn14 pathway promotes mesangial cell proliferation, vascular cell activation, and renal cell death. To study the relevance of the TWEAK/Fn14 pathway in the pathogenesis of antibody-induced nephritis using the mouse model of nephrotoxic serum nephritis (NTN), we induced NTN by passive transfer of rabbit anti-glomerular antibodies into Fn14 knockout (KO) and wild type (WT) mice. Severe proteinuria as well as renal histopathology were induced in WT but not in Fn14 KO mice. Similarly, a pharmacologic approach of anti-TWEAK mAb administration into WT mice in the NTN model significantly ameliorated proteinuria and improved kidney histology. Anti-TWEAK treatment did not affect the generation of mouse anti-rabbit antibodies; however, within the kidney there was a significant decrease in glomerular immunoglobulin deposition, as well as macrophage infiltrates and tubulointerstitial fibrosis. The mechanism of action is most likely due to reductions in downstream targets of TWEAK/Fn14 signaling, including reduced renal expression of MCP-1, VCAM-1, IP-10, RANTES as well as Fn14 itself, and other molecular pathways associated with fibrosis in anti-TWEAK treated mice. Thus, TWEAK/Fn14 interactions are instrumental in the pathogenesis of nephritis in the NTN model, apparently mediating a cascade of pathologic events locally in the kidney rather than by impacting the systemic immune response. Disrupting TWEAK/Fn14 interactions may be an innovative kidney-protective approach for the treatment of lupus nephritis and other antibody-induced renal diseases.
Project description:Chemokines are instrumental in macrophage- and T cell-dependent diseases. The chemokine CCL2 promotes kidney disease in two models of immune-mediated nephritis (MRL-Fas(lpr) mice and the nephrotoxic serum nephritis model), but evidence suggests that multiple chemokines are involved. For identification of additional therapeutic targets for immune-mediated nephritis, chemokine ligands and receptors in CCL2-/- and wild-type (WT) MRL-Fas(lpr) kidneys were profiled. The focus was on intrarenal chemokine ligand/receptor pairs that were highly upregulated downstream of CCL2; the chemokine CXCL10 and its cognate receptor, CXCR3, stood out as potential therapeutic targets. However, renal disease was not suppressed in CXCL10-/- MRL-Fas(lpr) mice, and CXCL10-/- C57BL/6 mice were not protected from nephrotoxic serum nephritis compared with WT mice. Because CXCR3 engages with the ligand CXCL9, CXCR3-/- , CXCL9-/- , and CXCL10-/- B6 mice were compared with WT mice with nephrotoxic serum nephritis. Kidney disease, measured by loss of renal function and histopathology, was suppressed in both CXCR3-/- and CXCL9-/- mice but not in CXCL10-/- mice. With nephrotoxic serum nephritis, CXCR3-/- and CXCL9-/- mice had fewer intrarenal activated T cells and activated macrophages. Both IgG glomerular deposits and antigen-specific IgG in serum were reduced in these mice, suggesting that although CXCR3 and CXCL9 initiate nephritis through cell-mediated events, renal inflammation may be sustained by their regulation of IgG. It is concluded that specific blockade of CXCL9
Project description:Lupus nephritis (LN) is a potentially dangerous end organ pathology that affects upwards of 60% of lupus patients. Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) is important for B cell development, Fc receptor signaling, and macrophage polarization. In this study, we investigated the effects of a novel, highly selective and potent BTK inhibitor, BI-BTK-1, in an inducible model of LN in which mice receive nephrotoxic serum (NTS) containing anti-glomerular antibodies. Mice were treated once daily with vehicle alone or BI-BTK-1, either prophylactically or therapeutically. When compared with control treated mice, NTS-challenged mice treated prophylactically with BI-BTK-1 exhibited significantly attenuated kidney disease, which was dose dependent. BI-BTK-1 treatment resulted in decreased infiltrating IBA-1+ cells, as well as C3 deposition within the kidney. RT-PCR on whole kidney RNA and serum profiling indicated that BTK inhibition significantly decreased levels of LN-relevant inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Renal RNA expression profiling by RNA-seq revealed that BI-BTK-1 dramatically modulated pathways related to inflammation and glomerular injury. Importantly, when administered therapeutically, BI-BTK-1 reversed established proteinuria and improved renal histopathology. Our results highlight the important role for BTK in the pathogenesis of immune complex-mediated nephritis, and BTK inhibition as a promising therapeutic target for LN.
Project description:Kidney involvement affects 40-60% of patients with lupus, and is responsible for significant morbidity and mortality. Using depletion approaches, several studies have suggested that macrophages may play a key role in the pathogenesis of lupus nephritis. However, "off target" effects of macrophage depletion, such as altered hematopoiesis or enhanced autoantibody production, impeded the determination of a conclusive relationship. In this study, we investigated the role of macrophages in mice receiving rabbit anti-glomerular antibodies, or nephrotoxic serum (NTS), an experimental model which closely mimics the immune complex mediated disease seen in murine and human lupus nephritis. GW2580, a selective inhibitor of the colony stimulating factor-1 (CSF-1) receptor kinase, was used for macrophage depletion. We found that GW2580-treated, NTS challenged mice did not develop the increased levels of proteinuria, serum creatinine, and BUN seen in control-treated, NTS challenged mice. NTS challenged mice exhibited significantly increased kidney expression of inflammatory cytokines including RANTES, IP-10, VCAM-1 and iNOS, whereas GW2580-treated mice were protected from the robust expression of these inflammatory cytokines that are associated with lupus nephritis. Quantification of macrophage related gene expression, flow cytometry analysis of kidney single cell suspensions, and immunofluorescence staining confirmed the depletion of macrophages in GW2580-treated mice, specifically within renal glomeruli. Our results strongly implicate a specific and necessary role for macrophages in the development of immune glomerulonephritis mediated by pathogenic antibodies, and support the development of macrophage targeting approaches for the treatment of lupus nephritis.
Project description:TNF ligand superfamily member 12, also known as TNF-related weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK), acts through its receptor, fibroblast growth factor-inducible 14 (Fn14), to mediate several key pathologic processes involved in tissue injury relating to lupus nephritis. To explore the potential for renal protection in lupus nephritis by targeting this pathway, we introduced the Fn14 null allele into the MRL-lpr/lpr lupus mouse strain. At 26-38 weeks of age, female Fn14-knockout MRL-lpr/lpr mice had significantly lower levels of proteinuria compared with female wild-type MRL-lpr/lpr mice. Furthermore, Fn14-knockout mice had significantly improved renal histopathology accompanied by attenuated glomerular and tubulointerstitial inflammation. There was a significant reduction in glomerular Ig deposition in Fn14-knockout mice, despite no detectable differences in either serum levels of antibodies or splenic immune cell subsets. Notably, we found that the Fn14-knockout mice displayed substantial preservation of podocytes in glomeruli and that TWEAK signaling directly damaged barrier function and increased filtration through podocyte and glomerular endothelial cell monolayers. Our results show that deficiency of the Fn14 receptor significantly improves renal disease in a spontaneous lupus nephritis model through prevention of the direct injurious effects of TWEAK on the filtration barrier and/or modulation of cytokine production by resident kidney cells. Thus, blocking the TWEAK/Fn14 axis may be a novel therapeutic intervention in immune-mediated proliferative GN.
Project description:Glomerulonephritis is one of the most serious manifestations of systemic lupus erythematous (SLE). Because SLE is ?10 times more common in women, a role for estrogens in disease pathogenesis has long been suspected. Estrogen receptor ? (ER?) is highly expressed in renal tissue. We asked whether ER? expression contributes to the development of immune-mediated nephropathies like in lupus nephritis. We tested the overall effects of estrogen receptors on the immune response by immunization with OVA and induction of chronic graft-versus-host disease in female ER?-knockout mice. We used nephrotoxic serum nephritis as a model of immune-mediated nephropathy. We investigated the influence of ER? on molecular pathways during nephritis by microarray analysis of glomerular extract gene expression. We performed RNA sequencing of lupus patient whole blood to determine common pathways in murine and human nephritis. Absence of ER? protects female mice from developing nephritis, despite the presence of immune complexes and the production of proinflammatory cytokines in the kidneys and normal humoral responses to immunization. Time-course microarray analysis of glomeruli during nephrotoxic serum nephritis revealed significant upregulation of genes related to PPAR-mediated lipid metabolism and downregulation of genes in the retinol metabolism in wild-type females compared with ER?-knockout females. Similarly, RNA sequencing of lupus patient blood revealed similar expression patterns of these same pathways. During nephritis, the altered activity of metabolic pathways, such as retinol metabolism, occurs downstream of ER? activation and is essential for the progression to end-stage renal failure.
Project description:A noninvasive means to predict the onset and recurrence of lupus nephritis (LN) before overt renal injury is needed to optimize and individualize treatment. Colony-stimulating factor-1 (CSF-1) is expressed by kidney tubules at the onset of LN, increases with disease progression, and spills into the circulation in lupus-prone mice. We tested the hypothesis that amplified expression of CSF-1 detected in the serum or urine correlates with intrarenal CSF-1 expression and histopathology (increased macrophage accumulation, activity indices) and clinical kidney disease activity and predicts the onset and recurrence of nephritis in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). We found increased serum or urine CSF-1 levels in patients with cutaneous, serositis, and musculoskeletal disease; however, the increase in CSF-1 levels was far greater in LN. Moreover, an elevation in serum or urine CSF-1 levels correlated with increasing intrarenal CSF-1 expression and histopathology. By longitudinally tracking patients, we found that elevated serum CSF-1 heralded the initial onset of disease, and a rise in serum or urine CSF-1 predicted recurrences of LN before clinical evidence of glomerular dysfunction and conventional serologic measures, even in patients with other manifestations of SLE. These findings indicate that serial monitoring for a rise in serum or urine CSF-1 levels in patients with SLE reflects kidney histopathology and may predict renal disease activity and the onset and recurrence of LN more accurately than conventional laboratory measures.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Deposition of chromatin-IgG complexes within glomerular membranes is a key event in the pathogenesis of lupus nephritis. We recently reported an acquired loss of renal Dnase1 expression linked to transformation from mild to severe membranoproliferative lupus nephritis in (NZBxNZW)F1 mice. As this may represent a basic mechanism in the progression of lupus nephritis, several aspects of Dnase1 expression in lupus nephritis were analyzed.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>Total nuclease activity and Dnase1 expression and activity was evaluated using in situ and in vitro analyses of kidneys and sera from (NZBxNZW)F1 mice of different ages, and from age-matched healthy controls. Immunofluorescence staining for Dnase1 was performed on kidney biopsies from (NZBxNZW)F1 mice as well as from human SLE patients and controls. Reduced serum Dnase1 activity was observed in both mesangial and end-stage lupus nephritis. A selective reduction in renal Dnase1 activity was seen in mice with massive deposition of chromatin-containing immune complexes in glomerular capillary walls. Mice with mild mesangial nephritis showed normal renal Dnase1 activity. Similar differences were seen when comparing human kidneys with severe and mild lupus nephritis. Dnase1 was diffusely expressed within the kidney in normal and mildly affected kidneys, whereas upon progression towards end-stage renal disease, Dnase1 was down-regulated in all renal compartments. This demonstrates that the changes associated with development of severe nephritis in the murine model are also relevant to human lupus nephritis.<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>Reduction in renal Dnase1 expression and activity is limited to mice and SLE patients with signs of membranoproliferative nephritis, and may be a critical event in the development of severe forms of lupus nephritis. Reduced Dnase1 activity reflects loss in the expression of the protein and not inhibition of enzyme activity.
Project description:Detection of self nucleic acids by Toll-like receptors (TLR) preciptates autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). It remains unknown how TLR signals in specific cell types contribute to distinct manifestations of SLE. Here, we demonstrate that formation of anti-nuclear antibodies in MRL.Fas(lpr) mice entirely depends on the TLR signaling adaptor MyD88 in B cells. Further, MyD88 deficiency in B cells ameliorated nephritis, including antibody-independent interstitial T cell infiltrates, suggesting that nucleic acid-specific B cells activate nephrotoxic T cells. Surprisingly, MyD88 deletion in dendritic cells (DCs) did not affect nephritis, despite the importance of DCs in renal inflammation. In contrast, MyD88 in DCs was critical for dermatitis, revealing a separate pathogenetic mechanism. DC-expressed MyD88 promoted interferon-? production by plasmacytoid DCs, which was associated with Death domain-associated protein 6 upregulation and B lymphopenia. Our findings thus reveal unique immunopathological consequences of MyD88 signaling in B cells and DCs in lupus.
Project description:Kidney disease is a critical concern in counseling patients with lupus considering pregnancy. This study sought to assess the risk of renal flares during pregnancy in women with previous lupus nephritis in partial or complete remission, particularly in those with antidouble-stranded DNA antibodies and low complement levels, and the risk of new-onset nephritis in patients with stable/mildly active SLE.We assessed active nephritis (renal flares and de novo kidney disease) and associated predictors during pregnancy in patients with lupus with urine protein ?1000 mg and serum creatinine <1.2 mg/dl at baseline; 373 patients (52% ethnic/racial minorities) enrolled between 2003 and 2012 were prospectively followed in the Predictors of Pregnancy Outcome: Biomarkers in Antiphospholipid Syndrome and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Study. Active nephritis was defined by proteinuria increase of >500 mg and/or red blood cell casts.Of 118 patients with previous kidney disease, 13 renal flares (11%) occurred (seven of 89 in complete remission and six of 29 in partial remission) compared with four with de novo kidney involvement (2%) in 255 patients without past kidney disease (P<0.001). Active nephritis was not associated with ethnicity, race, age, creatinine, BP, or antihypertensive and other medications. In multivariable logistic regression analyses, patients with past kidney disease in complete or partial remission more often experienced active nephritis (adjusted odds ratio, 6.88; 95% confidence interval, 1.84 to 25.71; P=0.004 and adjusted odds ratio, 20.98; 95% confidence interval, 4.69 to 93.98; P<0.001, respectively) than those without past kidney disease. Low C4 was associated with renal flares/de novo disease (adjusted odds ratio, 5.59; 95% confidence interval, 1.64 to 19.13; P<0.01) but not low C3 or positive anti-dsDNA alone.De novo kidney involvement in SLE, even in ethnic/racial minorities, is uncommon during pregnancy. Past kidney disease and low C4 at baseline independently associate with higher risk of developing active nephritis. Antibodies to dsDNA alone should not raise concern, even in patients with past kidney disease, if in remission.