Journal Article

Expression and characterization of recombinant rat <i>α</i>3(IV)NC1 and its use in induction of experimental autoimmune glomerulonephritis

James J. Ryan, John Reynolds, Vicki A. Norgan and Charles D. Pusey

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 16, issue 2, pages 253-253
Published in print February 2001 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online February 2001 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI:
Expression and characterization of recombinant rat α3(IV)NC1 and its use in induction of experimental autoimmune glomerulonephritis

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Background. The autoantigen in Goodpasture's disease is known to be the non‐collagenous domain of the α3 chain of type IV collagen, α3(IV)NC1. There is mounting evidence that α3(IV)NC1 is also a target of autoimmunity in experimental autoimmune glomerulonephritis (EAG). Sado et al. [Kidney Int 1998; 53, 664–671] have reported that recombinant human α3(IV)NC1 and α4(IV)NC1 are nephritogenic in WKY rats. We have proposed that immunization with homologous antigen is more appropriate for detailed investigation of autoimmunity in EAG.

Methods. To this end, we have cloned and sequenced rat α3(IV)NC1 and expressed it in COS‐7 cells. Recombinant rat α3(IV)NC1, secreted into the COS‐7 cell supernatant, was purified on an anti‐M2 FLAG affinity column and characterized by western blotting. Recombinant antigen was then used to immunize WKY rats, in order to induce EAG.

Results. The recombinant material was antigenic as judged by binding to sera from patients with Goodpasture's disease and a mAb to α3(IV)NC1. Immunization of WKY rats (n=5), with recombinant rat α3(IV)NC1 in FCA at a dose of 1 mg/kg resulted in circulating anti‐GBM antibodies directed towards α3(IV)NC1, linear deposits of IgG on the GBM, albuminuria, deposits of fibrin in the glomeruli, severe focal necrotizing glomerulonephritis with crescent formation, and glomerular influx of CD8+ T cells and macrophages. Western blot analysis demonstrated that sera from these rats bound strongly to recombinant rat α3(IV)NC1, as well as to collagenase‐solubilized human and rat GBM. The pattern of binding was indistinguishable from that of sera from patients with Goodpasture's disease.

Conclusions. This purified recombinant rat α3(IV)NC1, which is both antigenic and nephritogenic, will be of value in analysing autoimmune responses in experimental anti‐GBM disease.

Keywords: COS‐7 cells; experimental autoimmune glomerulonephritis; Goodpasture's disease; purified recombinant antigen; rat α3(IV)NC1

Journal Article.  5082 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Nephrology

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