, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 50-57
Date: 16 Nov 2010

CD28 superagonist-induced regulatory T cell expansion ameliorates mesangioproliferative glomerulonephritis in rats

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Naturally occurring regulatory T cells (Treg) are essential for the prevention of autoimmunity and overshooting immune responses to pathogens; however, the involvement of Treg in mesangioproliferative glomerulonephritis, a major cause of chronic kidney disease, remains unclear. Superagonistic CD28-specific monoclonal antibodies (CD28SA) are highly effective activators of Treg in rats.


To confirm our hypothesis that CD28SA reduces the severity of experimental glomerulonephritis, anti-Thy1 nephritis model rats were treated with CD28SA or saline.


CD28SA significantly suppressed the increase in proteinuria and serum creatinine levels. CD28SA-treated nephritic rats exhibited an increase in the infiltration of Treg in the glomeruli accompanied by infiltration of CD163-positive macrophages (“alternatively activated” macrophages). In addition, CD28SA significantly induced interleukin-10 mRNA expression in glomeruli, thereby ameliorating mesangial cell proliferation and extracellular matrix expansion.


We established a new therapeutic approach to suppressing progressive glomerulonephritis. The therapeutic value of this approach warrants further attention and preclinical studies.