Background: IgA nephropathy (IgAN) is characterized by predominant deposition of IgA in the glomerular mesangium. Serum IgA is often elevated in patients with IgAN, and it has been postulated that it is responsible for the mesangial lesions. However, the direct effect of circulating IgA on mesangial cells is not clear.
Methods: We investigated the effects of sera and IgA which were isolated from patients with IgAN on thymidine uptake, superoxide and fibronectin production and fibronectin mRNA expression of cultured rat mesangial cells, and we compared the findings to the effects of IgA isolated from patients with non-IgA mesangial proliferative glomerulonephritis (MsPGN) and normal controls. IgA was isolated with affinity chromatography using cyanogen bromide activated Sepharose 4B coupled to sheep antihuman IgA antiserum.
Results: Our results demonstrated that both sera and IgA from patients with IgAN dose-dependently increased mitogenesis of mesangial cells as measured by (3)H-labeled thymidine uptake. The thymidine uptake by sera and IgA isolated from patients with IgAN was significantly higher than that of sera and IgA isolated from patients with MsPGN and normal controls. Sera and IgA from patients with IgAN significantly enhanced superoxide and fibronectin production and fibronectin mRNA expression of mesangial cells. The superoxide and fibronectin production was also significantly higher as compared with patients with MsPGN and normal controls.
Conclusions: Our results indicate that circulating IgA isolated from patients with IgAN is different from that of patients with MsPGN and normal controls and may potentially induce oxidative injury and production of extracellular matrix of glomerular mesangial cells in IgAN.
Copyright 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel