Association of glomerular and interstitial mononuclear leukocytes with different forms of glomerulonephritis

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 1990;5(1):10-7. doi: 10.1093/ndt/5.1.10.


Immunophenotyping of mononuclear leukocytes was performed in renal tissue obtained from 69 patients with different forms of glomerulonephritis (GN) and from ten donors' kidneys for transplantation used as controls. A panel of monoclonal antibodies was used in the immunoperoxidase technique on frozen sections to define B- and T-lymphocyte subpopulations, NK cells and monocytes/macrophages, as well as the expression of HLA class II antigens-DQ, -DR and -DP. Quantification of labelled leukocytes revealed a significant increase of CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells in glomeruli of rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis, membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis and even of focal gomerulosclerosis. The number of glomerular monocytes/macrophages was significantly increased only in rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis, whereas in membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis it was decreased. No differences to normal tissue were detected in glomeruli for all other types of inflammatory cells. Interstitial cells were mostly T-lymphocytes in all forms of glomerulonephritis. In all groups the CD4+/CD8+ ratio was somewhat greater than 1 and even about 2 in rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis. Only in particular case was this ratio inversed. High expression of HLA class II antigens was observed on interstitial mononuclear leukocytes, as a sign of their activation. The excess of HLA-DQ-positive cells over the sum of CD14+ and CD20+ cells provides evidence not only for presence of activated T-lymphocytes but perhaps also for accumulation of renal dendritic cells in the interstitium in glomerulonephritis associated with interstitial infiltration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Glomerulonephritis / immunology*
  • Glomerulonephritis / pathology
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Kidney Glomerulus / immunology*
  • Kidney Glomerulus / pathology
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / immunology*
  • Phenotype
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II