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Kidney Int. 2000 Sep;58(3):1055-66.

Regulatory interactions of alphabeta and gammadelta T cells in glomerulonephritis.

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Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.



Several lines of evidence suggest that cellular immune mechanisms contribute to glomerulonephritis.


The roles of alphabeta and gammadelta T cells in the pathogenesis of glomerulonephritis were investigated in a model of nephrotoxic nephritis in mice deficient in either T-cell population [T-cell receptor (TCR)beta and TCRdelta knockout mice]. The model, induced by the injection of rabbit anti-mouse glomerular basement membrane antibody, is characterized by the development of proteinuria and glomerular damage over a 21-day observation period in wild-type mice.


Mice deficient in either alphabeta or gammadelta T cells developed minimal proteinuria and glomerular lesions and had a significant reduction in macrophage accumulation compared with wild-type mice. In gammadelta T-cell-deficient mice, circulating levels and glomerular deposition of autologous IgG were comparable to wild-type levels, while alphabeta T-cell-deficient mice had no autologous IgG production. Autologous antibody production was not required for the development of glomerulonephritis since mice that lack IgG and B cells (micro-chain-/-) developed similar proteinuria to that observed in wild-type mice.


These studies suggest a proinflammatory role for both alphabeta and gammadelta T cells in glomerular injury, independent of the humoral response. This is the first demonstration, to our knowledge, that both T-cell subsets contribute to the progression of a disease, and it suggests that complex regulatory interactions between alphabeta and gammadelta T cells play a role in glomerular injury.

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