• collagen;
  • GPVI;
  • immunosuppressive therapy;
  • lupus nephritis;
  • platelet

Summary. Background: GPVI is a major platelet collagen signaling receptor. In rare cases of immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), autoantibodies to GPVI result in receptor shedding. Objectives: To investigate a possible pathogenic role of plasma anti-GPVI antibody located in a woman with lupus nephritis. Methods: Measured were (i) platelet aggregation to collagen and convulxin, (ii) platelet GPVI expression (flow cytometry and western blotting), (iii) plasma soluble GPVI (sGPVI, dual antibody ELISA), and (iv) plasma anti-GPVI antibody (ELISA using recombinant sGPVI). Results: In 2006 and early 2007, the patient had a normal platelet count but a virtual absence of platelet aggregation to collagen and convulxin. Her platelets responded normally to other agonists including cross-linking ITAM-dependent FcγRIIA by monoclonal antibody, IV.3. Flow cytometry and western blotting showed a platelet deficiency of GPVI. Plasma sGPVI levels were undetectable whereas ELISA confirmed the presence of anti-GPVI antibody. Sequencing revealed a normal GPVI cDNA structure. The patient’s plasma and the isolated IgG3 fraction activated and induced GPVI shedding from normal platelets. A deteriorating clinical condition led to increasingly strict immunosuppressive therapy. This was globally associated with a fall in plasma anti-GPVI titres, the restoration of platelet GPVI and the convulxin response, and the loss of her nephrotic syndrome. Conclusions: Our results show that this patient acquired a potent anti-GPVI IgG3 antibody with loss of GPVI and collagen-related platelet function. Further studies are required to determine whether anti-GPVI antibodies occur in other lupus patients with nephritis.