08 December 2006
Background: Acute post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis (APSGN) is induced by glomerular deposition of nephritogenic streptococcal antigen-antibody complexes. Recently, a streptococcal antigen, nephritis-associated plasminogen receptor (NAPlr) was purified from ruptured streptococcal cell supernatants (RCS). However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms of NAPlr action on the glomerular vas culature are still unknown. Methods: Expression of cell adhesion molecules were measured by cellular ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay), immunofluorescence microscopy and Western blot analysis. Results: RCS and NAPlr significantly decreased the PECAM-1 expression in human glomerular endothelial cells (HGECs) as compared to that in the control cells. Plasminogen treatment reversed the RCS or NAPlr-induced decrease of PECAM-1 expression and increase of MCP-1 expression. Immunofluorescent microscopy and Western blot analysis also showed that PECAM-1 expression in HGECs was downregulated upon treatment with RCS or NAPlr and this effect was reversed by plasminogen treatment. Furthermore, we found that tumor necrosis factor-α production in culture medium of HGECs was increased at the lower level when the culture system was treated with RCS. Conclusion: RCS and NAPlr modulated PECAM-1 expression and MCP-1 production in HGECs, indicating the involvement of NAPlr in inflammatory cell accumulation in glomerular tufts and functional abnormality of glomerular microvasculature such as hyperpermeability.