IgA nephropathy (IgAN) patients have elevated serum levels of immune complexes consisting of IgA1 with galactose-deficient hinge-region O-glycans (Gd-IgA1) and anti-glycan IgG. These immune complexes deposit in the kidney and activate mesangial cells. To confirm that the activity of these immune complexes depends on the interaction of Gd-IgA1 with anti-glycan IgG, we generated in vitro analogous immune complexes using Gd-IgA1 myeloma protein and anti-glycan IgG from cord blood of healthy women. The Gd-IgA1 and anti-glycan IgG from cord-blood serum formed IgA1-IgG immune complexes that resembled those in sera of patients with IgAN. Furthermore, the ability to activate cellular proliferation was dependent on a heat-sensitive serum factor. In summary, we developed a new protocol for in-vitro formation of IgA1-IgG immune complexes, thus providing a new tool for studies of the pathogenesis of IgAN.
Keywords: Anti-glycan IgG; Galactose-deficient IgA1; IgA nephropathy; Immune complexes; Mesangial cells; O-glycosylation.