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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2016, Article ID 7697592, 7 pages
Research Article

Kidney Expression of Toll Like Receptors in Lupus Nephritis: Quantification and Clinicopathological Correlations

1Department of Internal Medicine and Medical Specialties-Rheumatology, Sapienza University of Rome, 00161 Rome, Italy
2Centre for Experimental Medicine and Rheumatology, William Harvey Research Institute, Queen Mary University of London, London EC1M 6BQ, UK
3Department of Radiology, Oncology and Pathology, Sapienza University of Rome, 00161 Rome, Italy

Received 17 March 2016; Revised 28 June 2016; Accepted 20 July 2016

Academic Editor: Teresa Zelante

Copyright © 2016 Fabrizio Conti 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.


Objective. The study aimed at locating and quantifying Toll Like Receptor (TLR) 3, 7, 8, and 9 expression in kidney of patients with lupus nephritis (LN) and correlating them with clinicopathological features. Methods. Kidney sections from 26 LN patients and 4 controls were analyzed by immunohistochemistry using anti-human TLR3, TLR7, TLR8, and TLR9 polyclonal antibodies; the number of TLR-positive nuclei/mm2 was evaluated on digitalized images. Results. Compared to controls, LN showed a significantly higher amount of glomerular and tubulointerstitial TLR9 ( and ), whole and tubulointerstitial TLR3 ( and ), and a higher tubulointerstitial TLR7 (). TLR9 positively correlated with activity index () and tubular TLR7 with chronicity index (). TLR9 positively correlated with Renal-SLEDAI (). Conclusions. This is the first study quantifying kidney expressions of TLRs in LN patients; the results show an overexpression of TLR3, TLR7, and TLR9 and demonstrate a correlation with clinicopathological indices supporting a role of these mediators in the pathogenesis of LN.