Scientific article
Open access

Cathepsin s and protease-activated receptor-2 drive alloimmunity and immune regulation in kidney allograft rejection

Publication date2020

Alloantigen presentation is an essential process in acute allorejection. In this context, we speculated on a pathogenic role of cathepsin S (Cat-S), a cysteine protease known to promote antigenic peptide loading into MHC class II and to activate protease-activated receptor (PAR)-2 on intrarenal microvascular endothelial and tubular epithelial cells. Single-cell RNA sequencing and immunostaining of human kidney allografts confirmed Cat-S expression in intrarenal mononuclear phagocytes. In vitro, Cat-S inhibition suppressed CD4 + T cell lymphocyte activation in a mixed lymphocyte assay. In vivo, we employed a mouse model of kidney transplantation that showed preemptive Cat-S inhibition significantly protected allografts from tubulitis and intimal arteritis. To determine the contribution of PAR-2 activation, first, Balb/c donor kidneys were transplanted into Balb/c recipient mice without signs of rejection at day 10. In contrast, kidneys from C57BL/6J donor mice revealed severe intimal arteritis, tubulitis, interstitial inflammation, and glomerulitis. Kidneys from Par2-deficient C57BL/6J mice revealed partial protection from tubulitis and lower intrarenal expression levels for Fasl, Tnfa, Ccl5, and Ccr5. Together, we conclude that Cat-S and PAR-2 contribute to immune dysregulation and kidney allograft rejection, possibly involving Cat-S-mediated activation of PAR-2 on recipient parenchymal cells in the allograft.

Citation (ISO format)
LEI, Yutian et al. Cathepsin s and protease-activated receptor-2 drive alloimmunity and immune regulation in kidney allograft rejection. In: Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, 2020, vol. 8, p. 398. doi: 10.3389/fcell.2020.00398
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal2296-634X

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