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Am J Pathol. 2000 Sep;157(3):825-31.

In situ localization of C3 synthesis in experimental acute renal allograft rejection.

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Department of Nephrology and Transplantation, King's College, University of London, Guy's Hospital, London, United Kingdom.


Recent evidence has implicated complement in renal transplant injury and identified the kidney as a source of complement components. We therefore investigated the local gene expression of complement component C3, pivotal to complement activation pathways and a mediator of inflammatory injury, in a rat renal transplant model. By reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, the expression of C3 mRNA increased in two phases. The first phase coincided with post-ischemic injury over 2 days post-transplantation and was localized by in situ hybridization to vessels and glomerular mesangial cells in allogeneic and syngeneic (control) kidney transplants. In allografts only, a second phase was found in tubular epithelial cells, glomerular parietal cells, vessel walls and some infiltrating cells, which peaked on day 4 together with rapid influx of leukocytes, tubule cell damage, the induction of interleukin-2 and interferon-gamma mRNA, and the up-regulation of tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-1beta mRNA in the graft. In vitro studies showed that interleukin-2 and interferon-gamma up-regulate C3 production in renal tubule cells. We conclude that post-ischemic injury led to transient up-regulation of glomerular expression of C3 mRNA. Subsequent cellular rejection was associated with tubulointerstitial/glomerular parietal cell expression of C3 mRNA. This differential expression of local C3, immediately post-transplant or associated with acute rejection, may have implications for putative therapeutic complement inhibition in clinical transplantation.

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