Anti-phospholipase A₂ receptor antibodies correlate with clinical status in idiopathic membranous nephropathy

Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2011 Jun;6(6):1286-91. doi: 10.2215/CJN.07210810. Epub 2011 Apr 7.


Background and objectives: Circulating autoantibodies against the M-type phospholipase A(2) receptor (anti-PLA(2)R) were recently identified in the majority of patients in the United States with idiopathic membranous nephropathy (iMN). The objectives of this study were to assess the prevalence of anti-PLA(2)R in a separate, European cohort of iMN patients and to correlate the presence of anti-PLA(2)R with clinical parameters reflective of disease activity.

Design, setting, participants, & measurements: Anti-PLA(2)R levels were blindly assessed by a Western blot immunoassay in 54 serum samples from 18 patients with iMN collected in various stages of clinical disease. Anti-PLA(2)R levels were correlated with other clinical parameters.

Results: 77.8% of iMN patients in our cohort had antibodies reactive with human PLA(2)R. The antibody levels in these patients correlated strongly with both clinical status and proteinuria (r = 0.73, P < 0.01).

Conclusions: The role of PLA(2)R as a major antigen in iMN was confirmed in an independent, European patient cohort, and levels of circulating anti-PLA(2)R revealed a strong correlation with clinical disease activity. We propose that detection and measurement of these autoantibodies may provide a tool for monitoring of disease activity and treatment efficacy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Autoantibodies / blood*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Female
  • Glomerulonephritis, Membranous / complications
  • Glomerulonephritis, Membranous / diagnosis
  • Glomerulonephritis, Membranous / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Proteinuria / diagnosis
  • Proteinuria / etiology
  • Proteinuria / immunology*
  • Receptors, Phospholipase A2 / immunology*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors


  • Autoantibodies
  • Receptors, Phospholipase A2