The M-type phospholipase A2 receptor (PLA2R) is expressed in podocytes in human glomeruli. Group IB secretory phospholipase A2 (sPLA2 IB), which is one of the ligands of the PLA2R, is more highly expressed in chronic renal failure patients than in controls. However, the roles of the PLA2R and sPLA2 IB in the pathogenesis of glomerular diseases are unknown. In the present study, we found that more podocyte apoptosis occurs in the kidneys of patients with higher PLA2R and serum sPLA2 IB levels. In vitro, we demonstrated that human podocyte cells expressed the PLA2R in the cell membrane. After binding with the PLA2R, sPLA2 IB induced podocyte apoptosis in a time-and concentration-dependent manner. sPLA2 IB-induced podocyte PLA2R upregulation was not only associated with increased ERK1/2 and cPLA2 alpha phosphorylation but also displayed enhanced apoptosis. In contrast, PLA2R-silenced human podocytes displayed attenuated apoptosis. sPLA2 IB enhanced podocyte arachidonic acid (AA) content in a dose-dependent manner. These data indicate that sPLA2 IB has the potential to induce human podocyte apoptosis via binding to the PLA2R. The sPLA2 IB-PLA2R interaction stimulated podocyte apoptosis through activating ERK1/2 and cPLA2 alpha and through increasing the podocyte AA content.
School of Medicine