The Journal of pathology

TH1 and TH17 cells promote crescent formation in experimental autoimmune glomerulonephritis.

PMID 25965582


Autoimmunity against the Goodpasture antigen α3IV-NC1 results in crescentic glomerulonephritis (GN). Both antibodies and T cells directed against α3IV-NC1 have been implicated in disease development and progression. Using the model of experimental autoimmune glomerulonephritis (EAG) in DBA/1 mice, we aimed to characterize the frequency and function of α3IV-NC1-specific CD4(+) T cells in the kidneys. DBA/1 mice repeatedly immunized with human α3IV-NC1 developed necrotizing/crescentic GN. Kidneys with crescentic GN contained CD4(+) cells responding to α3IV-NC1 with the production of IFN-γ or IL-17A, demonstrating the accumulation of both α3IV-NC1-specific TH1 and TH17 cells. To test the functional relevance of TH1 and TH17 cells, EAG was induced in DBA/1 mice deficient in IFN-γR, IL-17A or IL-23p19. Mice of all knockout groups mounted α3IV-NC1 IgG, developed nephrotic range proteinuria, and IgG deposition to the glomerular basement membranes at levels similar to immunized wild-type mice. However, all knockout groups showed significantly fewer glomerular crescents and attenuated tubulointerstitial damage. Our results suggest that both α3IV-NC1-specific TH1 and TH17 cells accumulate in the kidneys and are crucial for the development of necrotizing/crescentic GN.