MRL/MpJ-lpr/lpr (MRL/lpr) mice spontaneously develop immune complex-mediated glomerulonephritis and thrombocytopenia. Although the presence of cross-reactive anti-phospholipid antibodies in sera of MRL/lpr mice has been demonstrated, possible relationships between detected autoantibodies and the development of thrombocytopenia have not been elucidated. Recent genetic analyses in a few different strains of lupus-prone mice have pointed out a close correlation between autoantibodies reactive with endogenous retroviral env gene product, gp70, and the development and severity of glomerulonephritis. In the process of establishing possibly nephritogenic anti-gp70 autoantibody-producing hybridoma cells from MRL/lpr mice, we identified an IgG2a-producing anti-gp70 hybridoma clone that induced microvascular intraluminal platelet aggregation, thrombocytopenia, and amenia upon transplantation into syngeneic non-autoimmune mice. This and two other anti-gp70 antibodies bound onto the surface of mouse platelets, and purified IgG2a of the anti-gp70 autoantibody induced glomerular lesions with characteristics of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura when injected into non-autoimmune mice. The pathogenic anti-gp70 autoantibody specifically precipitated a platelet protein with an approximate relative molecular mass of 40 000.