Atsushi Oyama a , Eri Muso a , Takahiko Ono a , Hiroyuki Matsushima a , Masatomo Yashiro a , Katsuo Suyama a , Tadashi Kamata a , Fumiaki Nogaki a , Ikei Kobayashi a , Shigeki Miyawaki b , Haruyoshi Yoshida c , Shigetake Sasayama a
25 July 2001
Background/Aims: Recently, we established a high serum IgA-prone inbred (HIGA) mouse strain as a murine model of spontaneous IgA nephropathy by selective mating of high serum IgA ddY mice, and found that they showed enhanced production of glomerular extracellular matrix components with increased expression of TGF-β mRNA and protein in the kidneys. In this study, we examined the roles of lymphocytes in the development of high serum IgA in this strain. Methods: We performed flow cytometric analyses of T and B cells in splenic mononuclear cells (SMNCs) from these mice using BALB/c mice as normal controls. We also compared serum TGF-β1 concentrations and TGF-β mRNA expression levels in the B-cell-depleted (T-cell-rich) fraction of SMNCs in these mice. Results: HIGA mice showed significantly fewer CD3-positive cells compared with BALB/c mice when young, but not when aged. The CD4/CD8 ratio of HIGA mice was lower than that of BALB/c mice, but this difference was not significant. Although the number of B220-positive cells did not vary significantly, the ratio of surface IgA-positive B cells was significantly increased in both young and adult HIGA mice. The B-cell-depleted SMNCs from HIGA mice exhibited higher levels of expression of TGF-β and TGF-β1 mRNA than controls from a young age, which were maintained throughout life, but there were no differences in PDGF, MCP-1 or bFGF expression between these two strains. In contrast to local mRNA expression, serum TGF-β1 concentration was decreased in HIGA mice compared with BALB/c controls. Conclusion: These findings suggest that the mating procedure performed to establish HIGA mice selected for a unique phenotype of local up-regulation of TGF-β production in the kidneys, as well as T cells that may contribute to both the early and consistently high serum IgA expression and enhanced production of renal extracellular matrix components in HIGA mice. Additionally, TGF-β1 may act locally, not systemically, in a paracrine or autocrine manner.