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Clin Immunol. 2010 Aug;136(2):236-44. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2010.04.002. Epub 2010 May 4.

A protective role of Mer receptor tyrosine kinase in nephrotoxic serum-induced nephritis.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19140, USA.


The Mer receptor tyrosine kinase is strongly expressed in the glomerulus. We wondered if this molecule might modify immune-mediated glomerular disease through its functions as a receptor for apoptotic cells and immunoregulatory molecule. Mer-knockout (KO) mice showed decreased survival rate and greatly increased proteinuria and serum urea levels compared to wild type (WT) mice by day 3 after injection of NTS. Their glomeruli were hyperplastic and later became necrotic. In the glomerulus of WT mice, a significant increase of Mer expression was observed. Apoptotic bodies were evident in NTS-treated Mer-KO kidneys, but not in normal controls. NTS-treated Mer-KO mice had massive neutrophil infiltration and inflammatory cytokine expression. Mer thus has a critical role in attenuating renal inflammation, both as a receptor for apoptotic cells and as a molecule that downregulates inflammation.

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