Impact of IgG Fc-fragments on experimental glomerulonephritis induced by Streptococcus pyogenes strain binding various immunoglobulin classes

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Abstract

The pathogenesis of poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis (PSGN), a major complication of acute infections caused by group A streptococci (GAS) remains unclear. Several theories, based on the role of certain streptococcal virulence factors, as well as immunological mimicry between GAS and renal tissue, have been proposed. Earlier, we reported that many virulent clinical GAS isolates showing confirmed nephritogenic activity were capable of nonimmune Fc binding of monomeric or aggregated IgG. Moreover, a rabbit model of PSGN allowed to obtain findings regarding a crucial role of streptococcal IgG Fc binding proteins belonging to the M family surface proteins, in the onset of PSGN. Rabbits injected with inactivated IgGFcBP-positive streptococci, acquired changes in the renal tissue with deposited IgG and complement C3, as well as signs of immune inflammation characteristic for human PSGN. Also, it was shown that the induction of experimental glomerulonephritis could be inhibited after normal IgG or its purified Fc fragments were inoculated at early stages of the process. The data obtained in rabbits injected with group A streptococcal type M60 also showed pathogenic functions of the IgA Fc-binding proteins of GAS. The aim of the study was to examine inhibiting activity of the purified rabbit IgG Fc fragments on the manifestations of glomerulonephritis induced by S. pyogenes strains capable of binding diverse forms of immunoglobulins such native IgG, immune complexes, and IgA.

Materials and methods. GAS strains of emml, emml2 and emm60 genotypes were used to induce PSGN or IgA-nephropa-thy in rabbits. Fc fragments derived from rabbit IgG were obtained by enzymatic digestion and purified by affinity chromatography on a protein G-sepharose FF column. Immunomorphological changes of renal tissue were estimated by morphometric analysis.

Results. In the present study, using the rabbit model, we revealed pathological changes of different intensity and localization in the renal tissue. For streptococci of the emm1 and emm12 genotypes, PSGN was characterized by deposition of IgG or IgG-anti-IgG immune complexes within the basal glomerular membrane. Morphological changes were evaluated as a membranous-proliferative glomerulonephritis. Meanwhile, IgA-glomerulonephritis is characterized by deposition of IgA in mesangial cells of glomeruli, leading to the mesangial-proliferative glomerulonephritis or IgA-nephropathy. Intravenously administered purified Fc fragments derived from normal rabbit IgG varied in effects on pathological processes: (i) IgG Fc fragments of fully inhibited development of the PSGN induced by IgG Fc binding strain of emml genotype, (ii) IgG Fc fragments of partially reverted changes caused by the emm12 genotype strain, which was binding only to immune complexes, and (iii) had no effects on pathological changes caused by the emm60 genotype GAS strain, which was binding only IgA.

Conclusion. The data obtained point and emergence of differences in mechanisms of renal lesions development at glomerulonephritis, depending on the emm genotype of GAS strain. In addition, it also confirmed GAS-derived involvement for various IgFc-receptor proteins in the pathology. Further studies on potential prophylactic or curative effects of IgG Fc fragments in PSGN should therefore be of interest. The findings might suggest a new therapeutic approach for non-suppurative poststreptococcal diseases.

About the authors

L. A. Burova

Institute of Experimental Medicine

Email: lburova@yandex.ru

PhD, MD (Medicine), Leading Researcher, Department of Molecular Microbiology.

St. Petersburg

Russian Federation

P. V. Pigarevsky

Institute of Experimental Medicine

Email: pigarevsky@mail.ru

PhD, MD (Biology), Head of the Department of General Morphology.

St. Petersburg

Russian Federation

V. A. Snegova

Institute of Experimental Medicine

Email: biolaber@inbox.ru

Researcher, Department of General Morphology.

St. Petersburg

Russian Federation

A. A. Totolian

Institute of Experimental Medicine

Author for correspondence.
Email: totolyan@hotmail.com

Totolian Artem A. - PhD, MD (Medicine), RAS Full Member, Head Researcher, Department of Molecular Microbiology.

St. Petersburg

Russian Federation

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Copyright (c) 2020 Burova L.A., Pigarevsky P.V., Snegova V.A., Totolian A.A.

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