Tubular expression of Toll-like receptor 9 in lupus and primary membranous nephropathy


Nesrine Elloumi
Raouia Fakhfakh
Hatem Masmoudi
Khawla Kammoun


Introduction: Toll-like- receptors (TLR) control important aspects of innate and adaptive immune responses. Renal cells are among the non-immune cells that express (TLR).  Therefore, their activation might be implicated in renal tubulo-interstitial injury.

Aim: The study aimed to compare TLR9 expression in patients with primary membranous nephropathy (MN) to patients with lupus membranous nephropathy.

Methods: Kidney sections from 10 Lupus nephritis (LN) patients and ten patients with primary MN were analyzed by immunohistochemistry using anti-human TLR9 antibody.

Results: Results showed that TLR9 expression was weak and exclusively tubular in primary MN patients’ biopsies. There was a significant difference between LN patients’ biopsies and primary MN patients’ biopsies. TLR9 expression was more diffused in LN patients’ specimen than in those with primary MN.

Conclusion: This study focuses on molecular level pathogenesis of MN. The data suggest that the receptors TLR9 may play role in tubulointerstitial injury in the pathogenesis of LN but not primary membranous nephropathy.


Membranous nephropathy, Lupus nephritis, TLR9, Kidney biopsies, Tubular expression , Tubulointerstitial injury



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