Although anti-DNA antibodies have been decisively linked to the pathogenesis of lupus nephritis, the mechanisms have not been conclusively determined. Recently, we reported that anti-DNA antibodies may contribute to kidney damage by upregulation of proinflammatory genes in mesangial cells (MC), a process involving both Fc receptor-dependent and independent pathways. In investigating the mechanism by which pathogenic anti-DNA antibodies modulate gene expression in MC, we found that the pathogenic anti-DNA antibody 1A3F bound to high mobility group binding protein 1 (HMGB1), an endogenous ligand for TLR2/4 and RAGE (receptor for advanced glycation end products). Interestingly, HMGB1 treatment of MC induced a similar pattern of genes as stimulation with 1A3F. Furthermore, HMGB1 and 1A3F exhibited a synergistic proinflammatory effect in the kidney, where increased expression of HMGB1 was found in lupus patients but not in patients with other types of renal disease. TLR2/Fc and RAGE/Fc inhibited the proinflammatory effects of 1A3F on MC. Finally, we found enhanced susceptibility of lupus prone MRL-lpr/lpr (MRL/lpr) as compared to normal BALB/c derived MC to pathogenic anti-DNA antibody and LPS stimulation (in particular enhanced chemokine synthesis), in addition to significantly increased expression of TLR4. Our results suggest that gene upregulation in MC induced by nephritogenic anti-DNA antibodies is TLR2/4 and RAGE-dependent. Finally, HMGB1 may act as a proinflammatory mediator in antibody-induced kidney damage in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).