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      Glomerular T Cells Are of Restricted Clonality and Express Multiple CDR3 Motifs across Different Vβ T-Cell Receptor Families in Experimental Autoimmune Glomerulonephritis

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          Experimental autoimmune glomerulonephritis (EAG) is an animal model of Goodpasture’s disease which can be induced in Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats by a single intramuscular injection of collagenase-digested rat glomerular basement membrane (GBM) in adjuvant. This model is characterised by anti-GBM antibody production, accompanied by focal necrotising glomerulonephritis with crescent formation and glomerular infiltration by T cells and macrophages. Previous work has shown that EAG is a T-cell-dependent disease. We proposed that intraglomerular T cells might be directly involved in pathogenesis and would be oligoclonal. In this study, EAG was induced by standard methods, the kidneys perfused with saline at week 2 and week 4, and the glomeruli separated by a sieving method. Glomerular RNA was extracted and reverse transcribed. RT-PCR showed overexpression of an average of two Vβ families in each kidney analysed. However, no predominant single Vβ family was overexpressed in any of the experimental animals. CDR3 spectratyping of Fam-labelled PCR products showed a marked restriction involving different Vβ families. Sequencing demonstrated multiple CDR3 motifs, each expressed in association with different Vβ gene segments. Our results show that glomerular T cells are of restricted clonality and suggest a role for antigen-specific effector T cells in the pathogenesis of EAG.

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          Most cited references 27

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          These observations established the presence of anti-GBM antibodies in the sera and/or kidneys of six humans with glomerulonephritis. Further, it seems clear that these antibodies do combine with the host's glomeruli in vivo and with GBM antigen of several species in vitro. Transfer of acute glomerulonephritis to normal recipient monkeys was possible with serum or renal eluate IGG from the three patients with anti-GBM antibodies in whom sufficient material was available. Based on this transfer of nephritis and on the presence of these antibodies at the site of injury in the nephritic kidneys of both the patients and the recipient monkeys, it seems likely that they are at least a contributing, if not primary, cause of the glomerular injury. The frequency of anti-GBM antibodies in human nephritis is not certain, but on the basis of preliminary observations it would appear that they are present in all cases of Goodpasture's nephritis and somewhat less than half of the cases of subacute and chronic glomerulonephritis of adults. The nature and source of immunogen stimulating the production of anti-GBM antibodies is not known, but the presence of potentially nephritogenic GBM antigens in normal urine raises the question of possible autoimmunization. From a practical point of view, it appears that patients forming anti-GBM antibodies may not be good candidates for renal transplantation since they are likely to produce in the transplants the nephritic changes already suffered by their own kidneys.
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            The HLA complex in Goodpasture's disease: a model for analyzing susceptibility to autoimmunity.

            Human lymphocyte antigen (HLA) associations are recognized for many autoimmune diseases, but the mechanisms are not clear. Goodpasture's disease provides a unique opportunity to investigate possible mechanisms because strong HLA associations are known, the autoantigen is well defined, and major antigen-derived peptides presented bound to HLA molecules have been identified. Therefore, it may be possible to directly analyze interactions between the antigen and HLA molecules associated with the disease, and to examine influences on antigen presentation to T cells. Towards this goal, we present a detailed analysis of HLA associations with the disease and examine molecular mechanisms that could account for them.
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              Molecular cloning of the human Goodpasture antigen demonstrates it to be the alpha 3 chain of type IV collagen.

              To characterize the autoantigen of Goodpasture's (anti-glomerular basement membrane) disease, a molecule of 26-kD reactive with autoantibodies from patients' sera was purified from collagenase digests of sheep glomerular basement membrane. Short internal amino acid sequences were obtained after tryptic or cyanogen bromide cleavage, and used to deduce redundant oligonucleotides for use in the polymerase chain reaction on cDNA derived from sheep renal cortex. Molecules of 175 bp were amplified and found to come from two cDNA sequences. One was identical to that of a type IV collagen chain (alpha 5) cloned from human placenta and shown to be expressed in human kidney. The other was from a type IV collagen chain with close similarities to alpha 1 and alpha 5 chains, and was used to obtain human cDNA sequences by cDNA library screening and by further polymerase chain reaction amplifications. The correspondence of the derived amino acid sequence of the new chain with published protein and cDNA sequences shows it to be the alpha 3 chain of type IV collagen. Its gene, COL4A3, maps to 2q36-2q37. The primary sequence and other characteristics of this chain confirm that it carries the Goodpasture antigen.

                Author and article information

                Nephron Exp Nephrol
                Cardiorenal Medicine
                S. Karger AG
                November 2004
                17 November 2004
                : 98
                : 3
                : e71-e81
                aCentre for Kidney Research, The Children’s Hospital, Westmead, Australia, and bRenal Section, Division of Medicine, Imperial College London, Hammersmith Hospital, London, UK
                80682 Nephron Exp Nephrol 2004;98:e71–e81
                © 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Figures: 5, Tables: 1, References: 48, Pages: 1
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