TLR9 activation induces aberrant IgA glycosylation via APRIL- and IL-6–mediated pathways in IgA nephropathy

Academic Article


  • Galactose-deficient IgA1 (Gd-IgA1) plays a crucial role in the development of IgA nephropathy (IgAN). However, the pathogenic mechanisms driving Gd-IgA1 production have not been fully elucidated. Innate-immune activation via Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) is known to be involved in Gd-IgA1 production. A proliferation inducing ligand (APRIL) and IL-6 are also known to enhance Gd-IgA1 synthesis in IgAN. With this as background, we investigated how TLR9 activation in IgA secreting cells results in overproduction of nephritogenic IgA in the IgAN-prone ddY mouse and in human IgA1-secreting cells. Injection of the TLR9 ligand CpG-oligonucleotides increased production of aberrantly glycosylated IgA and IgG-IgA immune complexes in ddY mice that, in turn, exacerbated kidney injury. CpG-oligonucleotide-stimulated mice had elevated serum levels of APRIL that correlated with those of aberrantly glycosylated IgA and IgG-IgA immune complexes. In vitro, TLR9 activation enhanced production of the nephritogenic IgA as well as APRIL and IL-6 in splenocytes of ddY mice and in human IgA1-secreting cells. However, siRNA knock-down of APRIL completely suppressed overproduction of Gd-IgA1 induced by IL-6. Neutralization of IL-6 decreased CpG-oligonucleotide-induced overproduction of Gd-IgA1. Furthermore, APRIL and IL-6 pathways each independently mediated TLR9-induced overproduction of Gd-IgA1. Thus, TLR9 activation enhanced synthesis of aberrantly glycosylated IgA that, in a mouse model of IgAN, further enhanced kidney injury. Hence, APRIL and IL-6 synergistically, as well as independently, enhance synthesis of Gd-IgA1.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Makita Y; Suzuki H; Kano T; Takahata A; Julian BA; Novak J; Suzuki Y
  • Start Page

  • 340
  • End Page

  • 349
  • Volume

  • 97
  • Issue

  • 2