Depletion of Fractalkine ameliorates renal injury and Treg cell apoptosis via the p38MAPK pathway in lupus-prone mice

Jingxue Ma, Qiming Gong, Xiuhong Pan, Pengwei Guo, Linlin He, Yanwu You
2021 Experimental Cell Research  
Fractalkine (FKN) is a chemokine with several roles, including chemotaxis; adhesion; and immune damage, which also participates in cell inflammation and apoptosis and responds to the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. Given the involvement of regulatory T cells (Treg) cells in autoimmune diseases, this study investigated the regulatory mechanism of FKN in renal injury and Treg apoptosis via the p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK) signaling pathway in lupus-prone mice. Lupus was
more » ... ced in BALB/c female mice by injection of pristane, followed by isolation of CD4+CD5+ Treg cells from the spleen of lupus model mice. To deplete FKN, mice received injection of an anti-FKN antibody, and Treg cells were transfected with FKN small-interfering RNA. Lupus mice and Treg cells were treated with the p38MAPK inhibitor SB203580 and activator U-46619, respectively, and urine protein and serum urea nitrogen, creatinine, and autoantibodies were measured and renal histopathological changes analyzed. We determined levels of FKN, phosphorylated p38 (p-p38), and forkhead box P3 (FOXP3) in renal tissue and Treg cells, and analyzed apoptosis rates and levels of key apoptotic factors in Treg cells. The renal FKN and p-p38 levels increased, whereas renal FOXP3 level decreased in lupus-prone mice. Treatment with the anti-FKN antibody and the p38MAPK inhibitor ameliorated proteinuria and renal function, significantly reducing serum autoantibody, renal FKN, and p-p38 levels while increasing renal FOXP3 level in lupus-prone mice. Moreover, FKN knockdown and administration of the p38MAPK inhibitor reduced apoptosis and levels of pro-apoptotic factors, increased levels of anti-apoptotic factors, and suppressed activation of p38MAPK signaling in Treg cells derived from lupus model mice. Furthermore, treatment with the p38MAPK activator U-46619 had the opposite effect on these cells. These data indicated that depletion of FKN ameliorated renal injury and Treg cell apoptosis via inhibition of p38MAPK signaling in lupus nephritis, suggesting that targeting FKN represents a potential therapeutic strategy for treating Lupus nephritis.
doi:10.1016/j.yexcr.2021.112704 pmid:34126056 fatcat:iiupd35z3ra6xnyd4tssf73uda