Urokinase Plasminogen Activator Deficiency Aggravates Cationic Bovine Serum Albumin–Induced Membranous Nephropathy Through T Helper Cell Type 2-Prone Immune Response in Mice

Tzu-Ming Jao, Chung-Ze Wu, Chao-Wen Cheng, Chian-Huei Guo, Chia-Yu Bai, Li-Chien Chang, Te-Chao Fang, Jin-Shuen Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) is a crucial activator of the fibrinolytic system that modulates tissue remodeling, cancer progression, and inflammation. However, its role in membranous nephropathy (MN) remains unclear. To clarify this issue, an established BALB/c mouse model mimicking human MN induced by cationic bovine serum albumin (cBSA), with a T helper cell type 2–prone genetic background, was used. To induce MN, cBSA was injected into Plau knockout (Plau−/−) and wild-type (WT) mice. The blood and urine samples were collected to measure biochemical parameters, such as serum concentrations of immunoglobulin (Ig)G1 and IgG2a, using enzyme-linked immunoassay. The kidneys were histologically examined for the presence of glomerular polyanions, reactive oxygen species (ROS), and apoptosis, and transmission electron microscopy was used to examine subepithelial deposits. Lymphocyte subsets were determined using flow cytometry. Four weeks post–cBSA administration, Plau−/− mice exhibited a significantly higher urine protein-to-creatine ratio, hypoalbuminemia, and hypercholesterolemia than WT mice. Histologically, compared with WT mice, Plau−/− mice showed more severe glomerular basement thickening, mesangial expansion, IgG granular deposition, intensified podocyte effacement, irregular thickening of glomerular basement membrane and subepithelial deposits, and abolishment of the glycocalyx. Moreover, increased renal ROS levels and apoptosis were observed in Plau−/− mice with MN. B-lymphocyte subsets and the IgG1-to-IgG2a ratio were significantly higher in Plau−/− mice after MN induction. Thus, uPA deficiency induces a T helper cell type 2–dominant immune response, leading to increased subepithelial deposits, ROS levels, and apoptosis in the kidneys, subsequently exacerbating MN progression in mice. This study provides a novel insight into the role of uPA in MN progression.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100146
Number of pages1
JournalLaboratory Investigation
Volume103
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • knockout
  • membranous nephropathy
  • T2
  • uPA

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