Aim: The role of the tumour necrosis factor-like weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK)/Fn14 and interferon-inducible protein (IP-10)/CXCR3 axis in the pathogenesis of lupus nephritis were studied.
Methods: The mRNA expression of TWEAK, Fn14, IP-10 and CXCR3 were quantified in the glomerulus and tubulointerstitium of 42 patients with lupus nephritis (LN group) and 10 healthy controls.
Results: As compared to controls, LN patients had higher glomerular expression of TWEAK and Fn14, but glomerular CXCR3 expression was lower in the LN group. Similarly, the LN group had higher tubulointerstitial expression of TWEAK and Fn14, but lower tubulointerstitial expression of CXCR3, than controls. Glomerular TWEAK expression of class V nephritis was significantly higher than class IV nephritis. Glomerular expression of CXCR3 significantly correlated with proteinuria (r = -0.532; P = 0.019), whereas tubulointerstitial CXCR3 significantly correlated with serum creatinine (r = -0.447; P = 0.029).
Conclusion: In patients with lupus nephritis, there is an increase in intra-renal expression of TWEAK and Fn14, and a decrease in CXCR3 expression. Intra-renal expression of CXCR3 correlates with proteinuria and renal function. Our findings suggest that the TWEAK/Fn14 and IP-10/CXCR3 axis may contribute to the pathogenesis of lupus nephritis.
© 2011 The Authors. Nephrology © 2011 Asian Pacific Society of Nephrology.