Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 269610, 11 pages
Research Article

An Animal Model Using Metallic Ions to Produce Autoimmune Nephritis

1Laboratorios de Inmunología y Biología Molecular, UA Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas, 98040 Zacatecas, ZAC, Mexico
2Departamento de Patología, Universidad Autónoma de Durango, Campus Zacatecas, 98160 Zacatecas, ZAC, Mexico

Received 4 January 2015; Accepted 19 March 2015

Academic Editor: Kurt Blaser

Copyright © 2015 Roxana Ramírez-Sandoval et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Autoimmune nephritis triggered by metallic ions was assessed in a Long-Evans rat model. The parameters evaluated included antinuclear autoantibody production, kidney damage mediated by immune complexes detected by immunofluorescence, and renal function tested by retention of nitrogen waste products and proteinuria. To accomplish our goal, the animals were treated with the following ionic metals: HgCl2, CuSO4, AgNO3, and Pb(NO3)2. A group without ionic metals was used as the control. The results of the present investigation demonstrated that metallic ions triggered antinuclear antibody production in 60% of animals, some of them with anti-DNA specificity. Furthermore, all animals treated with heavy metals developed toxic glomerulonephritis with immune complex deposition along the mesangium and membranes. These phenomena were accompanied by proteinuria and increased concentrations of urea. Based on these results, we conclude that metallic ions may induce experimental autoimmune nephritis.