Background: Galactose-deficient IgA1 (Gd-IgA1) is a critical effector molecule in the pathogenesis of IgA nephropathy (IgAN). Although many researchers have measured serum levels of Gd-IgA1 using snail helix aspersa agglutinin (HAA) lectin-based assay, the lectin-dependent assay has some serious problems in robustness. In this study, we aimed to establish a more robust and stable enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) method that uses a specific monoclonal antibody to recognize a hinge region in human Gd-IgA1 (Gd-IgA1 ELISA).
Methods: Rats were immunized with human Gd-IgA1 hinge region peptide to obtain Gd-IgA1-specific monoclonal antibody KM55. Gd-IgA1 ELISA for specifically detecting serum Gd-IgA1 was consequently constructed. Serum Gd-IgA1 concentrations in human subjects were measured using KM55 ELISA assay. To further confirm specificity of the Gd-IgA1-specific antibody, KM55 was also applied for immunofluorescence staining of glomerular Gd-IgA1 in paraffin-embedded sections of renal biopsy specimens.
Results: Measurement of serum levels of Gd-IgA1 in human subjects by Gd-IgA1 ELISA revealed increased serum Gd-IgA1 level in patients with IgAN compared with patients with other renal diseases or non-renal diseases. Importantly, the results obtained from Gd-IgA1 ELISA positively correlated with those from the HAA lectin-based assay (R = 0.75). Immunofluorescence staining of renal biopsy specimens with KM55 detected glomerular co-localization of Gd-IgA1 and IgA.
Conclusion: This novel lectin-independent method with KM55 for measuring serum levels of Gd-IgA1 can pave the way for more convincing diagnosis and activity assessment of IgAN, and can expedite clinical research to better understand this difficult disease.
Keywords: ELISA; IgA nephropathy; galactose-deficient IgA1; helix aspersa agglutinin (HAA); immunofluorescence; monoclonal antibody.
© The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of ERA-EDTA.