Apoptotic cell interaction with IgM antibodies and modulation of ischaemic tissue injury
Hesketh, Emily Ellen
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Acute kidney injury (AKI) induced by renal ischaemia reperfusion injury (IRI) is characterised by renal failure, acute tubular necrosis (ATN), inflammation and microvascular congestion. Apoptotic cell administration reduces inflammation in experimental models of acute inflammation in the lung, joints and peritoneum. Preliminary data suggested that administration of 20x106 apoptotic thymocytes to mice 24-‐hours prior to renal IRI ameliorated renal function without affecting ATN 24-‐ hours following IRI. This thesis attempted to validate these finding and explore underlying hypothetical mechanisms. These studies examined if functional protection was conferred by apoptotic cell modulation of (a) circulating IgM antibodies or (b) coagulation status leading to improved intrarenal microvascular blood flow. Pathogenic IgM antibodies bind ischaemic cardiac or skeletal muscle and the intestine leading to complement activation and worse injury. We examined IgM binding to human renal (HK-‐2) cells by flow cytometry and to ischaemic murine kidney tissue. H2O2 or Antimycin A treated HK-‐2 cells incubated with human serum (IgM source) exhibited no IgM binding. Medullary IgM deposition assessed by immunofluorescence was minimal following IRI. We also assessed IgM deposition by immunohistochemistry following hepatic IRI and discovered dramatic deposition. These data suggest that IgM antibodies exhibit differential binding to injured tissues and are not directly involved in renal IRI, but may have a role in hepatic IRI. To support our second hypothesis we studied apoptotic cell modulation of coagulation. A thrombin generation assay revealed that early apoptotic cell-‐treated mice exhibited delayed thrombin generation. Furthermore, in vitro studies confirmed direct apoptotic cell-‐platelet binding. To replicate apoptotic cell derived functional protection Balb/c mice underwent 20, 24 or 25-‐minutes of ischaemia to induce mild, moderate or severe kidney dysfunction. Renal function and injury was determined 24-‐ hours following IRI by plasma creatinine measurement and ATN scoring. Unexpectedly, intravenous pretreatment of mice with apoptotic thymocytes conferred no protection. Indeed, apoptotic thymocytes further impaired renal function depending upon injury severity. Impairment of renal function was not secondary to increased microvascular congestion, inferred by fibrin and platelet deposition, neither increased ATN nor inflammation, assessed by neutrophil infiltration. These data indicate that apoptotic cell administration does not protect from subsequent renal IRI and that apoptotic cells are thus not inherently anti-‐inflammatory in all models of acute inflammation. Unable to replicate apoptotic cell derived functional protection we explored the binding of IgM antibodies to apoptotic cells which acts to facilitate dead cell clearance. We characterised IgM binding to non-‐apoptotic and apoptotic murine thymocytes and human Jurkat cells using flow cytometry, confocal and electron microscopy. We demonstrated specific IgM binding to a subset of late apoptotic cells. Electron microscopy indicated that IgM+ apoptotic cells exhibited marked plasma membrane disruption, suggesting that access to intracellular epitopes was required for IgM binding. Binding of IgM to permeabilised non-‐apoptotic and apoptotic cells suggested that IgM bound epitopes are ‘apoptosis independent’ such that IgM may bind any cell with profound plasma membrane disruption. Interestingly, permeabilised erythrocytes exhibited significant IgM binding thus supporting the importance of cell membrane epitopes. These data suggest that IgM may recognise and tag damaged nucleated cells or erythrocytes that exhibit significant cell membrane disruption.