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J Am Soc Nephrol. 1999 Dec;10(12):2510-7.

The role of selectins in glomerular leukocyte recruitment in rat anti-glomerular basement membrane glomerulonephritis.

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Renal Unit, University Hospital, Gent, Belgium.


Leukocytes play a central role in the pathogenesis of anti-glomerular basement membrane glomerulonephritis (anti-GBM GN). Understanding the mechanisms underlying their recruitment in the glomerulus is of critical importance, because this may lead to more specific anti-inflammatory drug design. The requirement for integrins, especially from the beta2 group, and their Ig superfamily counter-receptors has been established, however, the role of selectins remains controversial. An intravital microscopy technique was developed to study concomitantly the glomerular and venular leukocyte kinetics and the hemodynamic alterations in a rat model of anti-GBM GN, induced by injection of 10 mg of nephrotoxic serum (NTS). Histologic studies of the kidney were performed in parallel and urinary protein excretion was measured. The animals received NTS alone or were pretreated with either a monoclonal antibody against the beta2 integrin CD11b (OX42, 4 mg/kg) or fucoidan F7 (FF7, 8 mg/kg), an oligosaccharide that blocks both L- and P-selectin function. Administration of NTS resulted in a time-dependent increase in the number of adherent leukocytes in the glomeruli and a parallel decrease of the perfused glomerular capillary area. Substantial proteinuria was observed. Pretreatment with OX42 significantly attenuated these changes. FF7 almost abolished the rolling of the leukocytes in the venules, thus demonstrating efficient anti-selectin activity. Nevertheless, FF7 had no influence on the glomerular events or on the development of proteinuria. These results confirm that glomerular leukocyte adhesion in anti-GBM GN is CD11b-dependent. However, selectin-mediated interaction between the leukocytes and the glomerular capillary endothelium does not appear to be a prerequisite for leukocyte adhesion in the glomerulus. These results therefore question the potential utility of anti-selectin therapy in the treatment of anti-GBM GN.

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