Therapeutic Blockade of Immune Complex-Mediated Glomerulonephritis by Highly Selective Inhibition of Bruton's Tyrosine Kinase

Samantha A. Chalmers, Jessica Doerner, Todd Bosanac, Sara Khalil, Dustin Smith, Christian Harcken, Janice Dimock, Evan Der, Leal Herlitz, Deborah Webb, Elise Seccareccia, Di Feng, Jay S. Fine, Meera Ramanujam, Elliott Klein, Chaim Putterman

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29 Scopus citations


Lupus nephritis (LN) is a potentially dangerous end organ pathology that affects upwards of 60% of lupus patients. Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) is important for B cell development, Fc receptor signaling, and macrophage polarization. In this study, we investigated the effects of a novel, highly selective and potent BTK inhibitor, BI-BTK-1, in an inducible model of LN in which mice receive nephrotoxic serum (NTS) containing anti-glomerular antibodies. Mice were treated once daily with vehicle alone or BI-BTK-1, either prophylactically or therapeutically. When compared with control treated mice, NTS-challenged mice treated prophylactically with BI-BTK-1 exhibited significantly attenuated kidney disease, which was dose dependent. BI-BTK-1 treatment resulted in decreased infiltrating IBA-1+ cells, as well as C3 deposition within the kidney. RT-PCR on whole kidney RNA and serum profiling indicated that BTK inhibition significantly decreased levels of LN-relevant inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Renal RNA expression profiling by RNA-seq revealed that BI-BTK-1 dramatically modulated pathways related to inflammation and glomerular injury. Importantly, when administered therapeutically, BI-BTK-1 reversed established proteinuria and improved renal histopathology. Our results highlight the important role for BTK in the pathogenesis of immune complex-mediated nephritis, and BTK inhibition as a promising therapeutic target for LN.

Original languageEnglish
Article number26164
JournalScientific Reports
StatePublished - 19 May 2016
Externally publishedYes


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