Autoreactive kidney-infiltrating T-cell clones in murine lupus nephritis

Kidney Int. 1992 Oct;42(4):851-9. doi: 10.1038/ki.1992.360.


T-cells have been implicated in autoimmune renal injury. To examine the role of T-cells in lupus nephritis we propagated T-cell clones from the cortical interstitium of MRL/lpr mice. All isolated kidney-infiltrating (KI) T-cell clones [6] express surface markers identical to the T-cells regulated by the lpr gene (Thy 1.2+, TCR alpha/beta +, Lyt-2-, L3T4-, B220+). Although KI T-cell clones have the same surface markers as lymph node-infiltrating (LNI) T-cells, they differ functionally. KI T-cells, but not LNI T-cells, are autoreactive and kidney-specific, exclusively proliferating to renal tubular epithelial (TEC) and mesangial cells. In addition, unlike LNI T-cell supernatants (SN), KI T-cell clones SN induce class II and ICAM-1 on cultured TEC. When KI T-cell clones are injected under the renal capsule, class II is increased on TEC. All clones transcribe mRNA for cytokines capable of inducing class II and ICAM-1 (IL-4, TNF-alpha, IFN-gamma). Anti-IFN-gamma mAb prevents the induction of class II and ICAM-1 on cultured TEC. Since class II and ICAM-1 expression on TEC precedes renal injury, the ability to propagate autoreactive, kidney-specific T-cell clones that induce these molecules provides evidence for their role in initiating renal injury in MRL/lpr mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD / analysis
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / biosynthesis
  • Clone Cells
  • Female
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / biosynthesis
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Interferon-gamma / physiology
  • Kidney / immunology*
  • Lupus Nephritis / immunology*
  • Lymphoproliferative Disorders / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Mice, Inbred NZB
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • T-Lymphocytes / physiology*


  • Antigens, CD
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1
  • Interferon-gamma