Differential expression of functional Fc-receptors and additional immune complex receptors on mouse kidney cells

Mol Immunol. 2013 Dec;56(4):369-79. doi: 10.1016/j.molimm.2013.05.219. Epub 2013 Aug 1.


The precise mechanisms by which circulating immune complexes accumulate in the kidney to form deposits in glomerulonephritis are not well understood. In particular, the role of resident cells within glomeruli of the kidney has been widely debated. Immune complexes have been shown to bind one glomerular cell type (mesangial cells) leading to functional responses such as pro-inflammatory cytokine production. To further assess the presence of functional immunoreceptors on resident glomerular cells, cultured mouse renal epithelial, endothelial, and mesangial cells were treated with heat-aggregated mouse IgG or preformed murine immune complexes. Mesangial and renal endothelial cells were found to bind IgG complexes, whereas glomerular epithelial cell binding was minimal. A blocking antibody for Fc-gamma receptors reduced binding to mesangial cells but not renal endothelial cells, suggesting differential immunoreceptor utilization. RT-PCR and immunostaining based screening of cultured renal endothelial cells showed limited low-level expression of known Fc-receptors and Ig binding proteins. The interaction between mesangial cells and renal endothelial cells and immune complexes resulted in distinct, cell-specific patterns of chemokine and cytokine production. This novel pathway involving renal endothelial cells likely contributes to the predilection of circulating immune complex accumulation within the kidney and to the inflammatory responses that drive kidney injury.

Keywords: BMDCs; EnCs; Endothelial cell; Fc-receptor; Fc-receptors; FcRs; Glomerulonephritis; HA-mIgG; IC; Immune complex; Lupus; MCs; Mouse model; PAP-IC; REnCs; SMA; TfR; bone marrow-derived cells; endothelial cells; heat aggregated mouse gamma globulin; immune complexes; mesangial cells; peroxidase-anti-peroxidase immune complexes; renal endothelial cells; smooth muscle actin; transferrin receptor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Blocking / immunology
  • Antibodies, Blocking / pharmacology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Endothelial Cells / immunology
  • Endothelial Cells / metabolism
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin G / metabolism*
  • Kidney / cytology
  • Kidney / immunology
  • Kidney / metabolism*
  • Mesangial Cells / immunology
  • Mesangial Cells / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Podocytes / immunology
  • Podocytes / metabolism
  • Protein Binding / immunology
  • Receptors, Fc / genetics*
  • Receptors, Fc / immunology
  • Receptors, Fc / metabolism
  • Receptors, IgG / genetics
  • Receptors, IgG / immunology
  • Receptors, IgG / metabolism
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Transcriptome / drug effects
  • Transcriptome / genetics*
  • Transcriptome / immunology


  • Antibodies, Blocking
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Receptors, Fc
  • Receptors, IgG