This study investigated the role of discoidin domain receptor 1 (DDR1), a collagen receptor that displays tyrosine-kinase activity, in the development of glomerulonephritis. Crescentic glomerulonephritis was induced in DDR1-deficient mice and their wild-type (WT) littermates as controls, by injection of alloimmune sheep nephrotoxic serum (NTS). Histological, functional and transcriptomic studies were performed. Glomerulonephritis produced a 17-fold increase of DDR1 expression, predominantly in glomeruli. DDR1 deletion protected NTS-treated mice against glomerular disease (proteinuria/creatininuria 5.5±1.1 vs. 13.2±0.8 g/mmol in WT, crescents 12±2 vs. 24±2% of glomeruli, urea 16±2 vs. 28±5 mM), hypertension (123±11 vs. 157±8 mmHg), and premature death (70 vs. 10% survival) (all P<0.05). Reciprocal stimulation between DDR1 and interleukin-1b expression in vivo and in cultured podocytes suggested a positive feed-back loop between DDR1 and inflammation. In NTS-treated WT mice, administration of DDR1-specific antisense oligodeoxynucleotides decreased DDR1 expression (-56%) and protected renal function and structure, including nephrin expression (4.2±1.4 vs. 0.9±0.4 arbitrary units, P<0.05), compared to control mice receiving scrambled oligodeoxynucleotides. The therapeutic potential of this approach was reinforced by the observation of increased DDR1 expression in glomeruli of patients with lupus nephritis and Goodpasture's syndrome. These results prompt further interest in DDR1 blockade strategies, especially in the treatment of glomerulonephritis.