The role of the toll-like receptor TLR4 in hepatitis B virus-associated glomerulonephritis

The role of the toll-like receptor TLR4 in hepatitis B virus-associated glomerulonephritis Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) plays an important role in innate immunity. The aim of our study was to detect the expression of TLR4 in HBV-associated glomerulonephritis (HBV-GN) and explore the pathogenesis of TLR4 in inhibition of HBV replication in kidney. Immunohistochemical methods were used to detect the distribution of immunoglobulin, HBsAg, HBcAg and TLR4. Because TLR4 was mainly distributed in renal tubules and interstitial spaces, we used human proximal tubular epithelial cells (HK-2) as target cells, which were cultured with HBV-DNA-positive serum. Cells were divided into four groups: A, a normal control group; B, an HBV-induced group; C, an HBV and 10 μg/ml LPS (TLR4-stimulating factor) group; and D, an HBV and 5 μg/ml CLI095 (TLR4 inhibitor) group. The morphology of HK-2 cells was observed by microscopy, and the expression of α-SMA was examined by immunofluorescence before and after culturing with HBV-DNA-positive serum. MTT was used to detect HK2 proliferation. The expression of TLR4 protein was detected by immunofluorescence and western-blotting assays, HBsAg and HBeAg levels in supernatants were measured by ELISA, and the expression of HBV-DNA was measured by semi-quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR). The immunohistochemical staining for TLR4 in the normal control group was negative. The expression of TLR4 in HBV-GN was significantly higher than in the HBV-antigen-positive and -negative primary glomerulonephritis (PGN) groups and was mainly distributed in renal tubules and the interstitial area, where the distribution of HBsAg had similar intensity. The expression of TLR4 was significantly associated with renal tubular and interstitial lesions. In an in vitro study with prolonged infection with HBV-DNA-positive serum, more irregularly shaped cells and fewer HK-2 were observed. The expression of α-SMA in the cytoplasm of HK-2 was significantly increased after HBV infection. Immunofluorescence results showed that almost no expression of TLR4 in HK2 cells cultured with normal serum (group A), while the expression of TLR4 was increased after HBV infection (group B). With increasing LPS concentration, the rate of the proliferation of HK2 cells, the levels of HBV-DNA in the supernatant, and the expression of HBsAg and HBeAg decreased. TLR4 was mainly expressed in HBV-GN in renal tubules and interstitial spaces and was significantly associated with renal tubular and interstitial lesions. The stimulation of TLR4 not only inhibited HBV replication but also inevitably induced immune injury to cells. Therefore, we speculate that TLR4 may be involved in an immune inflammatory reaction by inhibiting HBV replication in HK2 cells, which could have an antiviral effect during HBV infection in the kidney. Archives of Virology Springer Journals

The role of the toll-like receptor TLR4 in hepatitis B virus-associated glomerulonephritis

Loading next page...
Springer Vienna
Copyright © 2013 by Springer-Verlag Wien
Biomedicine; Virology; Medical Microbiology; Infectious Diseases
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site


  • Hepatitis B Virus suppresses toll-like receptor–mediated innate immune responses in murine parenchymal and nonparenchymal liver cells
    Jun, W; Zhong, JM; Min, J
  • Inhibition of hepatitis B virus replication by MyD88 is mediated by nuclear factor-kappaB activation
    Lin, S; Wu, M; Xu, Y

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.

DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Unlimited reading

Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.

Stay up to date

Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.

Organize your research

It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

Monthly Plan

  • Read unlimited articles
  • Personalized recommendations
  • No expiration
  • Print 20 pages per month
  • 20% off on PDF purchases
  • Organize your research
  • Get updates on your journals and topic searches


Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial

Best Deal — 39% off

Annual Plan

  • All the features of the Professional Plan, but for 39% off!
  • Billed annually
  • No expiration
  • For the normal price of 10 articles elsewhere, you get one full year of unlimited access to articles.



billed annually
Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial