Galactose-deficient IgA1 has been proposed as an important effector molecule in IgA nephropathy (IgAN). We previously showed that the galactose-deficient IgA1-specific monoclonal antibody KM55 can detect circulating galactose-deficient IgA1 in patients with IgAN, enabling us to study the molecular roles of galactose-deficient IgA1. Herein, we further examined the pathophysiological significance of galactose-deficient IgA1 in glomerular deposits of patients with IgAN by immunohistochemistry using KM55. Immunostaining of galactose-deficient IgA1 with KM55 was performed in paraffin-embedded sections of renal biopsy specimens from 48 patients with IgAN and 49 patients with other renal diseases such as lupus nephritis, HCV-related nephropathy, IgA vasculitis with nephritis (IgA-VN), and membranous nephropathy. Glomerular galactose-deficient IgA1 was specifically detected in IgAN and IgA-VN but not in the other renal diseases. Galactose-deficient IgA1 was localized predominantly in the mesangial region as IgA deposition. However, galactose-deficient IgA1 was not detected in patients with lupus nephritis accompanied by glomerular IgA deposition. Thus, our study strongly suggests that IgAN and IgA-VN have a shared feature regarding galactose-deficient IgA1-oriented pathogenesis.
Keywords: IgA nephropathy; IgA vasculitis; renal biopsy.
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