Wegener's granulomatosis, microscopic polyangiitis, Churg-Strauss syndrome, and idiopathic pauci-immune necrotizing crescentic glomerulonephritis are associated with myeloperoxidase (MPO)-specific anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibodies (ANCAs). Clinical and experimental evidence indicates that ANCA and proinflammatory stimuli of infectious origin act synergistically to cause vasculitis. We tested this hypothesis in a recently developed mouse model of anti-MPO IgG-induced glomerulonephritis by using bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) as the proinflammatory stimulus. Systemic administration of LPS dose dependently increased renal injury induced by anti-MPO IgG as demonstrated by increased glomerular crescent formation and glomerular necrosis. In the early phase, LPS enhanced anti-MPO IgG-induced glomerular neutrophil accumulation. Furthermore, a transient induction of circulating tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha levels, followed by a marked increase in circulating MPO levels, was observed on administration of LPS. In vitro, anti-MPO IgG induced a respiratory burst in murine neutrophils only after priming with TNF-alpha. Finally, anti-TNF-alpha treatment attenuated, but did not prevent, the LPS-mediated aggravation of anti-MPO IgG-induced glomerulonephritis. In conclusion, our study demonstrates that ANCA and proinflammatory stimuli act synergistically to induce vasculitic disease and suggests potential benefits of inhibiting TNF-alpha bioactivity in treating human ANCA-associated necrotizing crescentic glomerulonephritis.