T helper 17 (Th17) lymphocytes promote renal inflammation in anti-glomerular basement membrane glomerulonephritis (anti-GBM GN), and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) mediates activation of Th17 lymphocytes by IL-6 and transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β). Cln 3-requiring 9 (Ctr9), a subunit of RNA polymerase-associated factor complex (PAFc), regulates the transcription of IL-6/STAT3-dependent genes. Here, we investigated the role of Ctr9 in regulating Th17-driven inflammation in anti-GBM GN. In mice, STAT3β or IL-17 knockout ameliorated anti-GBM autoantibody-induced renal injury. This phenomenon was associated with decreases in retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptor γt (RORγt), IL-17, phosphorylated STAT3, and proinflammatory cytokines. Compared with wild-type mice, Ctr9 increased in both STAT3β−/− and IL-17−/− mice injected with anti-GBM IgG, showing a negative correlation with Th17-related transcripts. Small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated knockdown of Ctr9 in intrarenal lymphocytes further upregulated Th17-related transcripts, consistent with repression of Th17 differentiation by Ctr9. Interestingly, Ctr9 was also expressed in human and mouse mesangial cells and downregulated in response to anti-GBM IgG or to TGF-β plus IL-17. Ctr9 in mesangial cells was even more repressed in the presence of both anti-GBM IgG and Th17-activating cytokines. Consistent with these findings, renal biopsies obtained from patients with anti-GBM GN showed consistent downregulation of Ctr9 and upregulation of phosphorylated STAT3 and IL-17 in the glomerulus. We conclude that Ctr9 is a negative regulator of Th17 differentiation in anti-GBM GN and repressed by anti-GBM IgG and IL-17 in mesangial cells.
- anti-glomerular basement membrane glomerulonephritis
- Th17 pathway
- Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society
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