Sle3 is a NZM2410/NZW-derived lupus-susceptibility interval on murine chromosome 7, which is associated with spontaneous lupus nephritis (SLN), and also anti-GBM-induced glomerulonephritis (GN). The tissue kallikrein gene cluster is located within the Sle3 interval and constitutes potential candidate genes for this locus. We have recently reported that renal kallikrein expression was upregulated by anti-GBM antibody challenge in a strain-specific manner and that it was significantly underexpressed in the anti-GBM-sensitive strains, including B6.Sle3. Further sequencing and functional studies reported earlier provided evidence that kallikreins could constitute disease genes in lupus. In this report, we have used an adenoviral vector to deliver the klk1 gene to B6.Sle3 congenics to directly test if kallikreins might have a protective effect against anti-GBM-induced nephritis. Our data show that klk1 gene delivery ameliorated anti-GBM-induced nephritis in B6.Sle3 congenics. Taken together with earlier studies, these findings indicate that kallikreins play an important protective role in autoantibody-initiated GN and could constitute potential candidate genes for anti-GBM-induced GN and SLN.
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