Virchows Archiv

, Volume 424, Issue 5, pp 459–464 | Cite as

Cellular localization of inflammatory cytokines in human glomerulonephritis

  • T. Takemura
  • K. Yoshioka
  • K. Murakami
  • N. Akano
  • M. Okada
  • N. Aya
  • S. Maki
Original Article


We evaluated the expression of inflammatory cytokines in renal tissues obtained from 45 patients with several types of glomerulonephritis. Immunofluorescence studies with specific antibodies to interleukin (IL)-1α, IL-1β, IL-6, tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and TNF-β showed intense cytoplasmic staining in the glomeruli and interstitium. Cells positive for these cytokines were found frequently in tissue from patients with lupus nephritis (WHO Class IV) and membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis, and, to a lesser extent, in tissue from patients with mesangial proliferative glomerulonephritis, Henoch-Schönlein purpura nephritis, and minimal change nephrotic syndrome. Most of these cells were dual-stained with a monoclonal antibody to monocytes-macrophages. In situ hybridization for cytokine mRNA, combined with immunoperoxidase staining for monocytes-macrophages, detected IL-1α, IL-6, and TNF-α mRNA in monocytes-macrophages infiltrating the glomeruli and interstitium. Occasionally, there was weak or moderate immunostaining for IL-1α, IL-6, and TNF-α in the glomerular mesangial and epithelial cells, but in situ hybridization signals were rarely found in these loci. These findings suggest that infiltrating monocytes-macrophages, rather than resident glomerular cells, are the major source of inflammatory cytokines in human glomerulonephritis.

Key words

Interleukin Tumour necrosis factor Glomerulonephritis Monocytes Macrophages 


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Copyright information

© Springer Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Takemura
    • 1
  • K. Yoshioka
    • 1
  • K. Murakami
    • 1
  • N. Akano
    • 1
  • M. Okada
    • 1
  • N. Aya
    • 1
  • S. Maki
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsKinki University School of MedicineOsaka-sayamaJapan

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