Glomerulonephritis and autoimmune vasculitis are independent of P2RX7 but may depend on alternative inflammasome pathways

Maria Prendecki, Stephen P McAdoo, Tabitha Turner-Stokes, Ana Garcia-Diaz, Isabel Orriss, Kevin J Woollard, Jacques Behmoaras, H Terence Cook, Robert Unwin, Charles D Pusey, Timothy J Aitman, Frederick W K Tam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

P2RX7, an ionotropic receptor for extracellular ATP, is expressed on immune cells, including macrophages, monocytes and dendritic cells and is up-regulated on non-immune cells following injury. P2RX7 plays a role in many biological processes, including production of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1β via the canonical inflammasome pathway. P2RX7 has been shown to be important in inflammation and fibrosis and may also play a role in autoimmunity. We have developed and phenotyped a novel P2RX7 knock-out (KO) inbred rat strain and taking advantage of the human-resembling unique histopathological features of rat models of glomerulonephritis, we induced three models of disease: nephrotoxic nephritis, experimental autoimmune glomerulonephritis, and experimental autoimmune vasculitis. We found that deletion of P2RX7 does not protect rats from models of experimental glomerulonephritis or the development of autoimmunity. Notably, treatment with A-438079, a P2RX7 antagonist, was equally protective in WKY WT and P2RX7 KO rats, revealing its 'off-target' properties. We identify a novel ATP/P2RX7/K+ efflux-independent and caspase-1/8-dependent pathway for production of IL-1β in rat dendritic cells, which was absent in macrophages. Taken together, these results comprehensively establish that inflammation and autoimmunity in glomerulonephritis is independent of P2RX7 and reveals the off-target properties of drugs previously known as selective P2RX7 antagonists. Rat mononuclear phagocytes may be able to utilise an 'alternative inflammasome' pathway to produce IL-1β independently of P2RX7, which may account for the susceptibility of P2RX7 KO rats to inflammation and autoimmunity in glomerulonephritis. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of Pathology
Early online date3 Mar 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Mar 2022

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