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Podocyte SIRPα reduction aggravates lupus nephritis via promoting T cell inflammatory responses.

Cell Reports 2024 May 17
Signal-regulatory protein alpha (SIRPα) has recently been found to be highly expressed in podocytes and is essential for maintaining podocyte function. However, its immunoregulatory function in podocytes remains elusive. Here, we report that SIRPα controls podocyte antigen presentation in specific T cell activation via inhibiting spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) phosphorylation. First, podocyte SIRPα under lupus nephritis (LN) conditions is strongly downregulated. Second, podocyte-specific deletion of SIRPα exacerbates renal disease progression in lupus-prone mice, as evidenced by an increase in T cell infiltration. Third, SIRPα deletion or knockdown enhances podocyte antigen presentation, which activates specific T cells, via enhancing Syk phosphorylation. Supporting this, Syk inhibitor GS-9973 prevents podocyte antigen presentation, resulting in a decrease of T cell activation and mitigation of renal disease caused by SIRPα knockdown or deletion. Our findings reveal an immunoregulatory role of SIRPα loss in promoting podocyte antigen presentation to activate specific T cell immune responses in LN.

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