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Glomerular cytokine expression in murine lupus nephritis

, : Glomerular cytokine expression in murine lupus nephritis. Clinical and Experimental Nephrology 20(1): 23-29

Aberrant expression of T helper cell (Th) cytokines is believed to play a central role in the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). While the glomerulus is one of the major targets of lupus inflammation, little is known about the cytokine expression in glomeruli. The current study aimed to explore the profiles of Th cytokine gene expressions in isolated glomeruli of lupus-prone mice. Glomeruli were purified from lupus-prone MRL/lpr mice using the magnetic microbead method. Expressions of cytokine genes representing the Th subset and FoxP3 were examined using real-time polymerase chain reaction. Serum levels of these cytokines were also measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. MRL/n mice were used as controls. Histologic glomerular damages were scored semiquantitatively. To examine the role of TNF-α in glomerular damage, we administered etanercept, a TNF-α antagonist, into the subjects. Glomerular gene expressions of TNF-α in lpr mice increased with week postpartum and reached statistically significant levels at 16 weeks compared with those of the glomeruli from control mice. Expressions of IFN-γ, IL-4 and FoxP3 also increased, but the difference was not significant. There was a significant increase in serum levels of TNF-α, IFN-γ, and IL-17 and decrease in those of IL-4. Among the genes examined, TNF-α significantly correlated with glomerular damage score. Administration of etanercept did not affect glomerular cytokine expressions or proteinuria and failed to ameliorate histologic glomerular damages. Our data suggest that Th1 cytokines, especially TNF-α, are dominantly expressed in the glomeruli of lupus-prone mice, but its pathophysiological role remains unclear.


PMID: 25985839

DOI: 10.1007/s10157-015-1123-1

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