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Distinct pathogenic roles for resident and monocyte-derived macrophages in lupus nephritis.

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Richoz, Nathan 
Loudon, Kevin W 
Patiño-Martínez, Eduardo 
Ferdinand, John R 


Lupus nephritis is a serious complication of systemic lupus erythematosus, mediated by IgG immune complex (IC) deposition in kidneys, with limited treatment options. Kidney macrophages are critical tissue sentinels that express IgG-binding Fcγ receptors (FcγRs), with previous studies identifying prenatally seeded resident macrophages as major IC responders. Using single-cell transcriptomic and spatial analyses in murine and human lupus nephritis, we sought to understand macrophage heterogeneity and subset-specific contributions in disease. In lupus nephritis, the cell fate trajectories of tissue-resident (TrMac) and monocyte-derived (MoMac) kidney macrophages were perturbed, with disease-associated transcriptional states indicating distinct pathogenic roles for TrMac and MoMac subsets. Lupus nephritis-associated MoMac subsets showed marked induction of FcγR response genes, avidly internalized circulating ICs, and presented IC-opsonized antigen. In contrast, lupus nephritis-associated TrMac subsets demonstrated limited IC uptake, but expressed monocyte chemoattractants, and their depletion attenuated monocyte recruitment to the kidney. TrMacs also produced B cell tissue niche factors, suggesting a role in supporting autoantibody-producing lymphoid aggregates. Extensive similarities were observed with human kidney macrophages, revealing cross-species transcriptional disruption in lupus nephritis. Overall, our study suggests a division of labor in the kidney macrophage response in lupus nephritis, with treatment implications - TrMacs orchestrate leukocyte recruitment while MoMacs take up and present IC antigen.



Autoimmunity, Immunology, Lupus, Macrophages, Mice, Humans, Animals, Lupus Nephritis, Macrophages, Monocytes, Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic, Receptors, IgG, Immunoglobulin G

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American Society for Clinical Investigation
Wellcome Trust (106809/Z/15/Z)
Medical Research Council (MR/N024907/1)
Arthritis Research UK (21777)
Medical Research Council (MR/S035842/1)
Wellcome Trust (220268/Z/20/Z)
Kidney Research UK (TF_013_20171124)
Medical Research Council Research Project Grant, National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Cambridge Biomedical Research Center, NIHR Blood and Transplant Research Unit, Medical Research Council New Investigator Research Grant, Versus Arthritis Cure Challenge Research Grant, NIAMS/NIH.