Therapeutic effects of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) on the progression of lupus nephritis. (a) Protective effect of HGF against the development of nephritic syndrome, as determined by changes in urine protein excretion levels. Open circles, HGF-treated graft-versus-host disease (GVHD; n = 10); closed circles, untreated GVHD (n = 10). Data represent mean ± standard error (n = 10). *p < 0.05; **p < 0.01 compared to untreated GVHD at the same time point. (b) Histopathology of kidney tissue from untreated and HGF-treated GVHD mice. Mononuclear cell infiltration into the perivascular area of the kidney was observed at 3 weeks, and glomerulonephritis, as shown by glomerular enlargement, increased glomerular lobularity, mesangial hypercellularity, and membrane thickening was observed at 12 weeks after GVHD induction. HGF treatment significantly inhibited these pathological changes. Original magnification ×200.