The transferrin receptor (CD71) is known as a receptor for IgA1 on mesangial cells, but the role of CD71 in IgA nephropathy (IgAN) is unknown. We studied clinical implication of mesangial CD71 in 282 patients with biopsy-proven IgAN (2005–2018). The transcript and protein expression of glomerular CD71 was determined by real-time polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry. Ten subjects with microscopic hematuria only and no evidence of histologic abnormalities on kidney biopsy were considered as controls. Human mesangial cells (HMCs) were treated with sera from IgAN patients and expression levels of CD71 and inflammatory cytokine markers were compared according to disease status. Disease progression was defined as a ≥30% decline in estimated glomerular filtration rate from the baseline value. During a mean follow up of 53.5 (18.3–75.9) months, 80 (28.4%) patients developed disease progression. The mRNA expression of CD71 was significantly higher in progressors than in nonprogressors (P = 0.001). Among the Oxford classification scores, patients with M1 had significantly higher CD71 expression levels than those with M0. In a multivariable Cox model, elevated transcript levels of CD71 were significantly associated with 4.32-fold higher risk of disease progression (P = 0.009). Furthermore, CD71 expression levels independently predicted the increase in proteinuria of ≥50% from the baseline (P = 0.03). Finally, HMCs treated with sera from IgAN patients with the higher Oxford score (M1E1S1T0) more increased the mRNA expression of CD71 and inflammatory markers than those with sera from negative score (M0E0S0T0). However, silencing CD71 significantly reduced expression levels of the inflammatory cytokine genes. Our results show that mesangial CD71 is significantly associated with disease progression and may play a biologic role in IgAN.
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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Physiology (medical)
- Biochemistry, medical