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J Immunol. 2003 Jun 1;170(11):5658-66.

CC chemokine ligand 5/RANTES chemokine antagonists aggravate glomerulonephritis despite reduction of glomerular leukocyte infiltration.

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Nephrological Center, Medical Policlinic, Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich, Germany.


The chemokine CC chemokine ligand (CCL)5/RANTES as well as its respective receptor CCR5 mediate leukocyte infiltration during inflammation and are up-regulated early during the course of glomerulonephritis (GN). We tested the effects of the two CCL5/RANTES blocking analogs, Met-RANTES and amino-oxypentane-RANTES, on the course of horse apoferritin (HAF)-induced GN. HAF-injected control mice had proliferative GN with mesangial immune complex deposits of IgG and HAF. Daily i.p. injections of Met-RANTES or amino-oxypentane-RANTES markedly reduced glomerular cell proliferation and glomerular macrophage infiltration, which is usually associated with less glomerular injury and proteinuria in HAF-GN. Surprisingly, however, HAF-GN mice treated with both analogs showed worse disease with mesangiolysis, capillary obstruction, and nephrotic range albuminuria. These findings were associated with an enhancing effect of the CCL5/RANTES analogs on the macrophage activation state, characterized by a distinct morphology and increased inducible NO synthetase expression in vitro and in vivo, but a reduced uptake of apoptotic cells in vivo. The humoral response and the Th1/Th2 balance in HAF-GN and mesangial cell proliferation in vitro were not affected by the CCL5/RANTES analogs. We conclude that, despite blocking local leukocyte recruitment, chemokine analogs can aggravate some specific disease models, most likely due to interactions with systemic immune reactions, including the removal of apoptotic cells and inducible NO synthetase expression.

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