Characterization of the macrophage transcriptome in glomerulonephritis-susceptible and -resistant rat strains

Genes Immun. 2011 Mar;12(2):78-89. doi: 10.1038/gene.2010.61. Epub 2010 Dec 23.


Crescentic glomerulonephritis (CRGN) is a major cause of rapidly progressive renal failure for which the underlying genetic basis is unknown. Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats show marked susceptibility to CRGN, whereas Lewis rats are resistant. Glomerular injury and crescent formation are macrophage dependent and mainly explained by seven quantitative trait loci (Crgn1-7). Here, we used microarray analysis in basal and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated macrophages to identify genes that reside on pathways predisposing WKY rats to CRGN. We detected 97 novel positional candidates for the uncharacterized Crgn3-7. We identified 10 additional secondary effector genes with profound differences in expression between the two strains (>5-fold change, <1% false discovery rate) for basal and LPS-stimulated macrophages. Moreover, we identified eight genes with differentially expressed alternatively spliced isoforms, by using an in-depth analysis at the probe level that allowed us to discard false positives owing to polymorphisms between the two rat strains. Pathway analysis identified several common linked pathways, enriched for differentially expressed genes, which affect macrophage activation. In summary, our results identify distinct macrophage transcriptome profiles between two rat strains that differ in susceptibility to glomerulonephritis, provide novel positional candidates for Crgn3-7 and define groups of genes that play a significant role in differential regulation of macrophage activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Glomerulonephritis / genetics*
  • Glomerulonephritis / immunology*
  • Glomerulonephritis / pathology
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Kidney Glomerulus / pathology
  • Macrophages / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Lew
  • Rats, Inbred WKY