Normal mice immunized with bacterial DNA produce high titers of anti-DNA antibodies and represent a new model for autoantibody production in systemic lupus erythematosus. To determine whether DNA immunization can also provoke clinical manifestations of lupus, the occurrence of nephritis in immunized mice was assessed and correlated with levels of anti-DNA as well as antibodies to glomerular antigens. BALB/c mice immunized with Escherichia coli single-stranded DNA in complexes with methylated bovine serum albumin in adjuvant showed increased proteinuria compared to control mice immunized with mBSA alone. Furthermore, DNA immunized mice had significantly greater glomerular proliferative changes and immunoglobulin deposition than control mice. In an in vitro assay, sera from DNA immunized mice exhibited greater binding to glomerular antigens than sera from control mice. Compared to sera, renal eluates from DNA-immunized mice were enriched for anti-DNA and glomerular binding activity. These data indicate that immunization of normal mice with E. coli DNA induces an immune-mediated proliferative glomerulonephritis that is likely secondary to the renal deposition of anti-DNA antibodies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine