CR1/CR2 deficiency alters IgG3 autoantibody production and IgA glomerular deposition in the MRL/lpr model of SLE

Autoimmunity. 2004 Mar;37(2):111-23. doi: 10.1080/08916930410001685063.


CR1 and CR2 expression is decreased by approximately 50% on B cells of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Expression is also decreased in the MRL/lpr murine model of SLE prior to the development of clinical disease, suggesting that this alteration may play a role in pathogenesis. To determine whether the decrease in receptor levels affects the development of SLE, we analyzed MRL/lpr mice in which CR1/CR2 expression was altered by gene targeting. Mice from each cohort (Cr2+/+, Cr2+/-, and Cr2-/-) were analyzed biweekly for the development of proteinuria and autoantibodies. Kidneys were examined at 12 and 16 weeks for evidence of immune complex deposition and renal disease. Deficiency of CR1/CR2 did not affect survival or development of renal disease as measured by proteinuria. Mice deficient in CR1/CR2 had significantly lower levels of IgG3 rheumatoid factor (RF) and total serum IgG3, suggesting a specific defect in production of IgG3 in response to endogenous autoantigens. Since IgG3 RF has been associated with the development of vasculitis in this model, we examined the mice for alterations in development of this clinical manifestation. Although there was no difference in the development of ear necrosis among the three groups, renal arteritis was not identified in any of the Cr2+/- mice, whereas it was present in 20% of the Cr2+/- and 40% of the Cr2+/+ mice. Finally, significantly higher levels of IgA were seen in the glomeruli of Cr2+/- mice compared to Cr2+/- or Cr2+/+ mice, suggesting that CR1/CR2 are involved in either the regulation of IgA production or the clearance of IgA immune complexes. Together these data support the concept that alterations in CR1/CR2 expression or function affect the regulation of autoantibody production and/or clearance and may have clinical consequences.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoantibodies / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin A / immunology*
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology*
  • Kidney Glomerulus / immunology*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / mortality
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / physiopathology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred MRL lpr
  • Receptors, Complement 3b / deficiency*
  • Receptors, Complement 3b / immunology*
  • Receptors, Complement 3d / deficiency*
  • Receptors, Complement 3d / immunology*
  • Survival / physiology
  • Time Factors


  • Autoantibodies
  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Receptors, Complement 3b
  • Receptors, Complement 3d