Pathogenesis of membranous nephropathy

Annu Rev Med. 1988;39:517-30. doi: 10.1146/


Membraneous nephropathy is the most common cause of idiopathic nephrotic syndrome in adults. Recent studies of the pathogenesis of the subepithelial glomerular immune deposits that characterize this disease have revealed new mechanisms of glomerular immune deposit formation involving cell surface antigens and have documented the role of the C5b-9 membrane attack complex of complement in mediating renal injury. Understanding these mechanisms may help us understand the pathogenesis of several other immune-mediated diseases and has implications for possible therapeutic interventions in MN.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen-Antibody Complex / immunology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology
  • Complement Membrane Attack Complex
  • Complement System Proteins / immunology
  • Glomerulonephritis / etiology*
  • Glomerulonephritis / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immune Complex Diseases / immunology
  • Nephritis / immunology
  • Nephrosis, Lipoid / immunology


  • Antigen-Antibody Complex
  • Complement Membrane Attack Complex
  • Complement System Proteins