Journal Article

Toll-like receptor 4 engagement contributes to expression of NKG2D ligands by renal tubular epithelial cells

Gang Eric Chen, Huiling Wu, Jin Ma, Steven J. Chadban and Alexandra Sharland

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

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

Volume 26, issue 12, pages 3873-3881
Published in print December 2011 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online May 2011 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ndt/gfr234
Toll-like receptor 4 engagement contributes to expression of NKG2D ligands by renal tubular epithelial cells

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Background. Engagement of Toll-like receptor (TLR) 4 on intrinsic kidney cells is critical for the full development of renal ischaemia–reperfusion injury (IRI). Effects of TLR signalling in renal parenchymal cells include the production of cytokines, chemokines and other soluble mediators which contribute to local inflammation and leucocyte accumulation. Whether engagement of TLR4 on kidney cells results in additional pro-inflammatory modifications of the renal microenvironment remains to be determined.

Methods. Renal IRI was induced by clamping of the renal pedicles, and expression of NKG2D ligands in mice deficient in TLR4 or its adaptor molecule MyD88, or else pretreated with blocking antibodies against the endogenous TLR4 ligand HMGB1, was compared to that in wild-type mice. Cultures of isolated renal tubular epithelial cells (TECs) from WT, TLR4−/− and MyD88−/− mice were stimulated with the TLR4 ligand lipopolysaccharide (LPS), or mineral oil occlusion was used to simulate IRI in vitro, prior to determination of NKG2D ligand expression. Chimeric mice lacking TLR4 in either the bone marrow derived or the parenchymal compartment were also subjected to IRI.

Results. In this study, we demonstrate a substantial increase in the expression of the NKG2D ligands retinoic acid early inducible-1 (RAE-1), murine ULBP-like transcript 1 (MULT-1) and histocompatibility-60 (H-60) in mouse kidneys during renal IRI. Expression of NKG2D ligands was attenuated in mice deficient in either TLR4 or the adaptor molecule MyD88. Antibody blockade of HMGB1 reduced NKG2D ligand expression by a comparable extent to TLR4 deficiency and did not result in further reduction of NKG2D ligand expression in TLR4−/− mice. Isolated TECs from normal mice but not those with defects in the TLR4–MyD88 signalling pathway expressed RAE-1 and MULT-1 upon exposure to LPS and after being subjected to in vitro conditions resembling ischaemia–reperfusion. TLR4 competence in the parenchymal but not the bone marrow-derived compartment was required for RAE-1 up-regulation in mouse kidneys after ischaemia, while TLR4 signalling in both compartments contributed to the intrarenal expression of MULT-1 during IRI.

Conclusion. Expression of the NKG2D ligands RAE-1 and MULT-1 on kidney cells in response to TLR4 engagement by HMGB1 represents another mechanism by which TLR4 signalling may participate in the pathogenesis of renal IRI.

Keywords: HMGB1; innate immunity; ischaemia–reperfusion injury; NKG2D; TLR4

Journal Article.  5058 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Nephrology

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