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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Increased natural killer cell activity in a model of immunoglobulin A nephropathy secondary to chronic alcohol consumption.

We investigated natural killer (NK) cell activity in an animal model of ethanol-induced immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy. Two groups, of 10 rats each, received a continuous intragastric infusion of liquid diet through a permanent cannula for 6 weeks. The alcoholic group was infused additionally with intragastric ethanol, representing from 32% to 40% of the caloric requirement. The group of control rats received an isocaloric diet supplemented with glucose instead of alcohol. IgA nephropathy was observed in all the alcoholic rats but in none of the controls. NK cell activity was investigated in the two groups by measuring the cytotoxicity of spleen cells using the chromium release method. NK cell activity was found to be significantly increased in the alcoholic rats. In view of the known modulation of IgA synthesis by NK cells, we suggest that increased NK cell activity may be a contributing factor to the high levels of circulating IgA seen in IgA nephropathy secondary to chronic alcohol consumption.[1]


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