Background: Idiopathic membranous nephropathy (IMN) is one of the most common forms of autoimmune nephritic syndrome in adults. The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether polymorphisms of PLA2R1 affect the development of IMN.
Methods: Taiwanese-Chinese individuals (129 patients with IMN and 106 healthy controls) were enrolled in this study. The selected single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in PLA2R1 were genotyped by real-time polymerase chain reaction using TaqMan fluorescent probes, and were further confirmed by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism. The roles of the SNPs in disease progression were analyzed.
Results: Genotype distribution was significantly different between patients with IMN and controls for PLA2R1 SNP rs35771982 (p = 0.015). The frequency of G allele at rs35771982 was significantly higher in patients with IMN as compared with controls (p = 0.005). In addition, haplotypes of PLA2R1 may be used to predict the risk of IMN (p = 0.004). Haplotype H1 plays a role in an increased risk of IMN while haplotype H3 plays a protective role against this disease. None of these polymorphisms showed a significant and independent influence on the progression of IMN and the risk of end-stage renal failure and death (ESRF/death). High disease progression in patients having C/T genotype at rs6757188 and C/G genotype at rs35771982 were associated with a low rate of remission.
Conclusions: Our results provide new evidence that genetic polymorphisms of PLA2R1 may be the underlying cause of IMN, and the polymorphisms revealed by this study warrant further investigation.