Intraglomerular T cells and monocytes in nephritis: study with monoclonal antibodies

Kidney Int. 1987 May;31(5):1160-6. doi: 10.1038/ki.1987.123.


Intraglomerular T cells, monocytes, total leucocytes and other mononuclear subsets were sought in renal biopsies from patients with glomerulonephritis, using monoclonal antibodies and immunoperoxidase techniques. Twenty-four biopsies with no significant glomerular proliferation on optical microscopy, thirty-two with only endocapillary hypercellularity, and twenty-one with extra capillary crescentic glomerular disease were studied. Few intra-glomerular leucocytes were seen in the non-proliferative group. In contrast, when compared with this group, biopsies with glomerular hypercellularity and particularly those with crescents showed increased numbers of intra-glomerular total leucocytes and monocytes/macrophages, as well as an excess of T lymphocytes and T cytotoxic/suppressor cells; T helper/inducer lymphocytes were significantly increased only in the crescentic group. Only small numbers of B lymphocytes and NK cells were found in all groups. The numbers of total glomerular T-cells and monocytes per glomerular cross section were highly correlated in the crescentic group. Only idiopathic IgA nephropathy failed to show a significant increase in the numbers of intra-glomerular leucocytes, in comparison with the non-proliferative group, Henoch-Schönlein purpura biopsies in contrast had an excess of both monocytes and T cell subsets. The finding of T lymphocytes as well as monocytes in glomeruli of proliferative nephritis suggests that cellular immune mechanisms may play a role in their pathogenesis, especially when crescents are present.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal*
  • Antibody Formation
  • Biopsy
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Kidney Glomerulus / pathology*
  • Monocytes / analysis*
  • Nephritis / immunology
  • Nephritis / pathology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / analysis*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal