Serum amyloid P deposition is a sensitive and specific feature of membranous-like glomerulopathy with masked IgG kappa deposits

Kidney Int. 2020 Mar;97(3):602-608. doi: 10.1016/j.kint.2019.10.026. Epub 2019 Nov 9.


Membranous-like glomerulopathy with masked IgG kappa deposits (MGMID) is a recently described pattern of glomerulonephritis with a unique histopathology. The pattern is characterized by subepithelial and/or mesangial immune deposits that are "masked", to immunoglobulin staining by routine immunofluorescence but strongly stain for IgG and kappa light chain after protease digestion. Patients with this pattern of glomerulonephritis are most commonly young females presenting with proteinuria and a vague history of autoimmune disease such as low titer antinuclear antibodies. Here we compared the mass spectrometry profile of laser capture microdissected glomeruli from nine MGMID renal biopsies with eight biopsies showing other patterns of membranous glomerulopathy. The protein most significantly increased in MGMID was serum amyloid P. Immunostaining showed serum amyloid P colocalized with IgG in the glomeruli of MGMID but not with PLA2R-associated membranous glomerulopathy. Serum amyloid P was positive in the glomeruli of all 32 MGMID biopsies but negative in biopsies of other types of membranous glomerulopathies such as those associated with PLA2R and THSD7A. There were four biopsies with glomerular serum amyloid P staining among the 173 biopsies that did not fulfill criteria for MGMID or amyloidosis. All four of these biopsies with positive serum amyloid P staining had a membranous pattern of glomerulopathy with IgG kappa deposits that only differed from MGMID by the lack of "masking". Thus, positive staining within glomerular deposits for serum amyloid P identifies a unique form of glomerulonephritis likely sharing a common pathophysiologic mechanism of disease.

Keywords: glomerulonephritis; masked deposits; mass spectrometry; membranous-like glomerulopathy; subepithelial deposits.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Glomerulonephritis*
  • Glomerulonephritis, Membranous* / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Kidney Diseases*
  • Kidney Glomerulus


  • Immunoglobulin G