Glomerular deposition of C1q and anti-C1q antibodies in mice following injection of antimouse C1q antibodies

Clin Exp Immunol. 2003 Apr;132(1):32-9. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2249.2003.02108.x.


Anti-C1q autoantibodies are present in the serum of patients with different autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The occurrence of these autoantibodies correlates with renal involvement. In the present study we examined whether injection of rabbit antimouse C1q antibodies in mice leads to deposition in kidneys. Injection of healthy mice with a single dose of rabbit IgG antimouse C1q antibodies resulted in deposition of both C1q and IgG anti-C1q in glomeruli. The pattern of deposition observed in the glomeruli of mice injected with antimouse C1q antibodies both at 24 h and 2 weeks was both glomerular basement membrane (GBM)-associated and mesangial. Injection of control IgG did not have a detectable effect on circulating C1q levels, and no deposition of either C1q or rabbit IgG was seen at 24 h. The deposition of rabbit antimouse C1q and C1q in glomeruli resulted in complement activation, as assessed by C3 deposition, and influx of leucocytes associated with albuminuria in some, but not all mice. In none of the control mice was albuminuria observed. This report is the first to show that anti-C1q antibodies deposit in the healthy glomerulus together with autologous C1q. This deposition is stable for at least 2 weeks, causes complement activation, leucocyte influx and can lead to mild albuminuria.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Albuminuria / immunology
  • Animals
  • Antibodies / administration & dosage*
  • Autoantibodies / analysis*
  • Complement Activation
  • Complement C1q / analysis*
  • Complement C1q / immunology*
  • Female
  • Immunoglobulin G / administration & dosage*
  • Injections
  • Kidney Glomerulus / immunology*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Rabbits
  • Statistics, Nonparametric


  • Antibodies
  • Autoantibodies
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Complement C1q