Journal of Experimental Medicine vol:185 issue:5 pages:963-8
The plasminogen/plasmin system has the potential to affect the outcome of inflammatory diseases by regulating accumulation of fibrin and other matrix proteins. In human and experimental crescentic glomerulonephritis (GN), fibrin is an important mediator of glomerular injury and renal impairment. Glomerular deposition of matrix proteins is a feature of progressive disease. To study the role of plasminogen and plasminogen activators in the development of inflammatory glomerular injury, GN was induced in mice in which the genes for these proteins had been disrupted by homologous recombination. Deficiency of plasminogen or combined deficiency of tissue type plasminogen activator (tPA) and urokinase type plasminogen activator (uPA) was associated with severe functional and histological exacerbation of glomerular injury. Deficiency of tPA, the predominant plasminogen activator expressed in glomeruli, also exacerbated disease. uPA deficiency reduced glomerular macrophage infiltration and did not significantly exacerbate disease. uPA receptor deficiency did not effect the expression of GN. These studies demonstrate that plasminogen plays an important role in protecting the glomerulus from acute inflammatory injury and that tPA is the major protective plasminogen activator.