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1.  The Alternative Pathway of Complement Activation May Be Involved in the Renal Damage of Human Anti-Glomerular Basement Membrane Disease 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e91250.
Linear deposition of IgG and complement 3 (C3) along glomerular basement membrane (GBM) is generally revealed in the kidneys of human anti-GBM disease. Our recent studies demonstrated the pathogenic role of complement activation in renal damage of this disease. However, the pathways of complement activation were still paradoxical. In this study, renal biopsy tissues from 10 patients with anti-GBM disease were used to investigate the pathways of complement activation by detecting the deposition of various complement components, including C1q, factor B, factor P (properdin), mannose-binding lectin (MBL), C3d, C4d and C5b-9, using immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence. We found that C1q, factor B, properdin, C3d, C4d and C5b-9 were detected in all the glomeruli of our patients, along GBM with a linear and/or granular staining pattern. Furthermore, C1q, factor B and properdin co-localized well with C5b-9. The properdin also co-localized well with C3d. However, the deposition of MBL was diffusive in mesangium, GBM, Bowman's capsule and within crescents and was not co-localized with C5b-9 but partially co-localized with C4d. The intensity of factor B deposition (3.3 vs. 1.2, P<0.001) and C5b-9 deposition (3.2 vs. 1.6, P<0.001) was significantly stronger in the glomeruli with crescent formation, compared with the glomeruli without crescents. The complement system is overall activated via both the alternative pathway and classical pathway in the kidneys of human anti-GBM disease. The alternative pathway might play an important role in complement activation induced renal damage.
PMCID: PMC3962356  PMID: 24658070
2.  Glomerular C1q deposition and serum anti-C1q antibodies in anti-glomerular basement membrane disease 
BMC Immunology  2013;14:42.
Anti-glomerular basement membrane (GBM) disease is a well-known antibody-induced autoimmune disease. A few patients have glomerular C1q deposition, but it is usually absent on renal histopathology. The role of C1q deposition in kidney injury is unclear. Recently, anti-C1q antibodies are demonstrated to be pathogenic in the target organ damage of many autoimmune diseases, by facilitating C1q deposition and enhancing complement activation via classical pathway. In the current study, we investigated the associations between anti-C1q antibodies in sera and C1q deposition in kidney of patients with anti-GBM disease.
It was shown that the severity of kidney injury was comparable between patients with and without C1q deposition, including the prevalence of oliguria/auria, the median percentage of crescents in glomeruli and the mean concentration of serum creatinine. Serum anti-C1q antibodies were detected in 15/25 (60%) patients with a low titer. The prevalence of C1q deposition in kidney was comparable between patients with and without serum anti-C1q antibodies (26.7% vs. 30.0%, p > 0.05). No association was found between anti-C1q antibodies and the severity of kidney injury.
The classical pathway of complement may not play a pathogenic role in the kidney injury of human anti-GBM disease. Anti-C1q antibodies could be detected in more than half of patients, which need further investigations.
PMCID: PMC3852561  PMID: 24053688
Anti-glomerular basement membrane disease; Complement; Classical pathway; C1q; Anti-C1q antibody
3.  Gecko Crude Peptides Induce Apoptosis in Human Liver Carcinoma Cells In Vitro and Exert Antitumor Activity in a Mouse Ascites H22 Xenograft Model 
Aim. To investigate the anti-tumor effects and mechanisms of gecko crude peptides (GCPs) in vitro and in vivo. Methods. 3-(4,5)-dimethylthiahiazo (-z-y1)-3,5-di-phenytetrazoliumromide (MTT) assay was applied to measure the effects of GCPs on the HepG2 cell viability. Fluorescence morphology was used to identify apoptotic cells. A xenograft H22 liver cancer model was established in Kunming mice. The tumor-bearing mice were treated with daily intraperitoneal injections of normal saline (NS group) or GCPs (80, 40 or 20 mg/kg) for 10 days, or once per two days with 2 mg/kg doxorubicin (ADR group; n = 10 each). Serum tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α) and interleukin (IL)-6 were quantified using ELISA assay. Results. GCPs significantly inhibited the growth of HepG2 cells and induced typical apoptotic morphological features through increasing bcl-2/bax ratio in a dose- and time-dependent manner in vitro. The tumor weights of the ADR group, GCPs (H) group, GCPs (M) group, GCPs (L) group were smaller compared to the NS group. While the white blood cell count, thymus index, spleen index were higher in the high dose GCPs group than the NS group (P < 0.05), the VEGF expression in tumor tissue and serum TNF-α and IL-6 levels in the GCPs groups were lower than the NS group (P < 0.05).
PMCID: PMC3471029  PMID: 23093861
4.  Influence of variable domain glycosylation on anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibodies and anti-glomerular basement membrane autoantibodies 
BMC Immunology  2012;13:10.
The pathophysiological significance of variable region glycosylation of autoantibodies is still unclear. In the current study, the influence of the variable region N-linked oligosaccharides on the reactivity of three autoantibody specificities was investigated with Sambucus nigra agglutinin (SNA), which mainly binds to oligosaccharides with terminal α2, 6-linked sialic acid on the variable region of IgG.
Twenty-seven patients with serum positive anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibodies (ANCA) against myeploperoxidase (MPO) or proteinase 3 (PR3), or autoantibodies against glomerular basement membrane (GBM) were included. Total IgG was isolated and separated into non-SNA-binding and SNA-binding fractions with SNA affinity chromatography. Antigen-specific IgG was purified by immunoaffinity chromatography.
At the same concentration of IgG, the antigen binding level of non-SNA-binding IgG was significantly lower than that of SNA-binding IgG for MPO-ANCA (absorbance value at 405 nm, 0.572 ± 0.590 vs. 0.962 ± 0.670, P < 0.001) and for PR3-ANCA (0.362 ± 0.530 vs. 0.560 ± 0.531, P = 0.003). The antigen binding level of non-SNA-binding IgG was significantly higher than that of SNA-binding IgG for anti-GBM antibodies (1.301 ± 0.594 vs. 1.172 ± 0.583, P = 0.044). The level of variable region glycosylation of total IgG was significantly lower than that of affinity-purified MPO-ANCA (1.021 ± 0.201 vs. 1.434 ± 0.134, P = 0.004). The level of variable region glycosylation of total IgG was significantly higher than that of affinity-purified anti-GBM antibodies (1.034 ± 0.340 vs. 0.734 ± 0.333, P = 0.007). The SNA-binding fraction of MPO-ANCA-containing IgG and PR3-ANCA-containing IgG induced higher levels of neutrophil oxygen radical production than the corresponding non-SNA-binding fractions (P < 0.001 and P = 0.043, respectively). The level of variable region glycosylation of affinity-purified MPO-ANCA was higher in active AAV than the same patients in remission (P = 0.001).
Characteristics of variable region glycosylation of ANCA and anti-GBM antibodies were different from that of total IgG, which might influence the antigen-binding ability of these antibodies. Variable region glycosylation of ANCA might influence the effect of ANCA-induced neutrophils respiratory burst.
PMCID: PMC3324382  PMID: 22404873
Glycosylation; Variable region; ANCA; Anti-GBM
5.  The association of HLA-DQB1, -DQA1 and -DPB1 alleles with anti- glomerular basement membrane (GBM) disease in Chinese patients 
BMC Nephrology  2011;12:21.
Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles are associated with many autoimmune diseases, including anti-glomerular basement membrane (GBM) disease. In our previous study, it was demonstrated that HLA-DRB1*1501 was strongly associated with anti-GBM disease in Chinese. However, the association of anti-GBM disease and other HLA class II genes, including HLA-DQB1, -DQA1,-DPB1 alleles, has rarely been investigated in Asian, especially Chinese patients. The present study further analyzed the association between anti-GBM disease and HLA-DQB1, -DQA1, and -DPB1 genes. Apart from this, we tried to locate the potential risk amino acid residues of anti-GBM disease.
This study included 44 Chinese patients with anti-GBM disease and 200 healthy controls. The clinical and pathological data of the patients were collected and analyzed. Typing of HLA-DQB1, -DQA1 and -DPB1 alleles were performed by bi-directional sequencing of exon 2 using the SeCoreTM Sequencing Kits.
Compared with normal controls, the prevalence of HLA-DPB1*0401 was significantly lower in patients with anti-GBM disease (3/88 vs. 74/400, p = 4.4 × 10-4, pc = 0.039). Comparing with normal controls, the combination of presence of DRB1*1501 and absence of DPB1*0401 was significantly prominent among anti-GBM patients (p = 2.0 × 10-12, pc = 1.7 × 10-10).
HLA-DPB1*0401 might be a protective allele to anti-GBM disease in Chinese patients. The combined presence of DRB1*1501 and absence of DPB1*0401 might have an even higher risk to anti-GBM disease than HLA-DRB1*1501 alone.
PMCID: PMC3107170  PMID: 21569485
Anti-GBM disease; HLA-DPB1*0401; Chinese

Results 1-5 (5)