Glucocorticoid receptor expression in resident and hematopoietic cells in IgG4-related disease

Mod Pathol. 2018 Jun;31(6):890-899. doi: 10.1038/s41379-018-0036-4. Epub 2018 Feb 12.


Immunoglobulin G4-related disease is a rare immune-mediated disease characterized by the infiltration of IgG4-positive plasma cells and unique storiform fibrosis of multiple organs. The majority of IgG4-related disease patients respond to glucocorticoids, yet the precise mechanism of their action remains unclear. Pathological sections of the submaxillary gland, kidney, and retroperitoneum from 20 patients in total diagnosed with IgG4-related disease were analyzed for glucocorticoid receptor expression and the cell types expressing glucocorticoid receptor. Strong and abundant expression of glucocorticoid receptor was observed in the submaxillary gland, kidney, and retroperitoneum of IgG4-related disease patients, while glucocorticoid receptor was rarely or only faintly observed in the submaxillary gland of patients with Sjögren's syndrome, radicular cysts and sialolithiasis or in the healthy kidney. Glucocorticoid receptor was mainly expressed in fibro/myofibroblasts, CD4-positive T cells and IgG4-positive plasma cells in the submandibular glands and kidneys of IgG4-related disease patients. The abundant expression of glucocorticoid receptor in various types of cells, including resident fibro/myofibroblasts in IgG4-related disease patients might provide clues to the mechanism of steroid responsiveness in IgG4-related disease patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G4-Related Disease / metabolism*
  • Immunoglobulin G4-Related Disease / pathology
  • Kidney / metabolism*
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myofibroblasts / metabolism
  • Myofibroblasts / pathology
  • Peritoneum / metabolism
  • Peritoneum / pathology
  • Receptors, Glucocorticoid / metabolism*
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / metabolism
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / pathology
  • Submandibular Gland / metabolism*
  • Submandibular Gland / pathology


  • Receptors, Glucocorticoid