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J Immunol. 2000 Feb 1;164(3):1498-504.

Inhibition of mesangial cell nitric oxide in MRL/lpr mice by prostaglandin J2 and proliferator activation receptor-gamma agonists.

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Department of Medicine, University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29403, USA.


MRL/Mp-lpr/lpr (MRL/lpr) mice develop immune complex glomerulonephritis similar to human lupus. Glomerular mesangial cells are key modulators of the inflammatory response in lupus nephritis. When activated, these cells secrete inflammatory mediators including NO and products of cyclooxygenase perpetuating the local inflammatory response. PGJ2, a product of cyclooxygenase, is a potent in vitro inhibitor of macrophage inflammatory functions and is postulated to function as an in vivo inhibitor of macrophage-mediated inflammatory responses. We hypothesized that in lupus, a defect in PGJ2 production allows the inflammatory response to continue unchecked. To test this hypothesis, mesangial cells were isolated from MRL/lpr and BALB/c mice and stimulated with IL-1beta or LPS plus IFN-gamma. In contrast to the 2- to 3-fold increase in PGJ2 production by stimulated BALB/c mesangial cells, supernatant PGJ2 did not increase in MRL/lpr mesangial cell cultures. NO production in stimulated MRL/lpr and BALB/c mesangial cells, was blocked by PGJ2 and pioglitazone. These studies suggest that abnormalities in PGJ2 production are present in MRL/lpr mice and may be linked to the heightened activation state of mesangial cells in these mice.

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