To elucidate the mechanism underlying crescentic formation, we assessed the phenotypic characterization and cell-cycle protein expression in human crescentic glomerulonephritis (CRGN). Kidney tissue specimens taken from CRGN patients (10 patients with pauci-immune type rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis (RPGN), 2 patients with Henoch-Schönlein purpura nephritis, and 1 patient with IgA nephropathy) were examined immunohistochemically. Most of the cellular components of the crescents expressed cytokeratin, whereas few cells expressed PHM-5. CD68-positive cells were minor components of cellular crescents, indicating that the major principal cellular component of the crescents is made up of cells with the parietal glomerular epithelial cell (PEC) phenotype. Additionally, serial section analysis revealed that Ki-67-positive cells in the crescents were frequently cyclin-A positive and Bcl-2 positive, but seldom cyclin-B(1) positive. Moreover, the expression of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27(Kip1) was low in the cellular crescents, despite being exclusively positive in podocytes within the same section. We concluded that the major component of the cellular crescents is made up of PECs and that apparent expression of cyclins and Bcl-2 and restrained expression of p27(Kip1) may be synergistically associated with the development of cellular crescents in human CRGN.