Nephron Exp Nephrol 2012 21;121(3-4):e59-70. Epub 2012 Nov 21.
Department of Internal Medicine II, University Medical Center Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.
The role of toll-like receptors (TLRs) has been described in the pathogenesis of renal ischemia/reperfusion injury, but data on the expression and function of TLR4 during renal allograft damage are still scarce. We analyzed the expression of TLR4 in an experimental rat model 6 and 28 days after allogeneic kidney transplantation in comparison to control rats and rats after syngeneic transplantation. On day 6, a significant induction in TLR4 expression--restricted to the glomerular compartment--was found in acute rejecting allografts only. TLR4 expression strongly correlated with renal function, and TLR4 induction was accompanied by a significant increase in CC chemokine expression within the graft as well as in urinary CC chemokine excretion. TLR4 induction may be caused by an influx of macrophages as well as TLR4-expressing intrinsic renal cells. Fibrinogen deposition in renal allografts correlated with renal TLR4 expression and may act as a potent stimulator of chemokine release via TLR4 activation. This study provides, for the first time, data about the precise intrarenal localization and TLR4 induction after experimental kidney transplantation. It supports the hypothesis that local TLR4 activation by endogenous ligands may be one pathological link from unspecific primary allograft damage to subsequent chemokine release, infiltration and activation of immune cells leading to deterioration of renal function and induction of renal fibrosis.
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