AbstractAIM:It has been reported that tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α plays dual controversial roles, beneficial or detrimental, in the pathogenesis of murinelupus nephritis (LN). However, its precise role in the development of human LN remains to be determined.

METHODS:We examine the effect of pretreatment with TNF-α on the toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) signaling induced by polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (poly IC), a synthetic analog of viral dsRNA that makes "pseudoviral" infection in cultured normal human mesangial cells, and analyzed the expression of CC chemokine ligand 5 (CCL5) via TLR3/interferon (IFN)-β/retinoic acid-inducible gene-I (RIG-I) pathway by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, Western blotting and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

RESULTS:We found synergistic effect of TNF-α, even at low level, on the expression of CCL5 induced by poly IC in a concentration-dependent manner, in comparison with that by poly IC alone. Knockdown of either IFN-β or RIG-I decreased CCL5 expression induced by TNF-α followed by poly IC.

CONCLUSION:Pretreatment with TNF-α leads marked activation of the TLR3/IFN-β/RIG-I/CCL5 axis induced by "pseudoviral" infection. Since chronic local activation of proinflammatory cytokines including TNF-α in resident renal cells may exist in patients with active lupus, synergistic effect of TNF-α and "pseudoviral" infection is possibly involved in the development of LN.                          

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