A multi-institutional study found a possible role of anti-nephrin antibodies in post-transplant focal segmental glomerulosclerosis recurrence

Kidney Int. 2024 Mar;105(3):608-617. doi: 10.1016/j.kint.2023.11.022. Epub 2023 Dec 16.


Possible roles of anti-nephrin antibodies in post-transplant recurrent focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) have been reported recently. To confirm these preliminary results, we performed a multi-institutional study of 22 Japanese pediatric kidney transplant recipients with FSGS including eight genetic FSGS and 14 non-genetic (presumed primary) FSGS. Eleven of the 14 non-genetic FSGS patients had post-transplant recurrent FSGS. Median (interquartile range) plasma levels of anti-nephrin antibodies in post-transplant recurrent FSGS measured using ELISA were markedly high at 899 (831, 1292) U/mL (cutoff 231 U/mL) before transplantation or during recurrence. Graft biopsies during recurrence showed punctate IgG deposition co-localized with nephrin that had altered localization with increased nephrin tyrosine phosphorylation and Src homology and collagen homology A expressions. Graft biopsies after remission showed no signals for IgG and a normal expression pattern of nephrin. Anti-nephrin antibody levels decreased to 155 (53, 367) U/mL in five patients with samples available after remission. In patients with genetic FSGS as in those with non-genetic FSGS without recurrence, anti-nephrin antibody levels were comparable to those of 30 control individuals, and graft biopsies had no signals for IgG and a normal expression pattern of nephrin. Thus, our results suggest that circulating anti-nephrin antibodies are a possible candidate for circulating factors involved in the pathogenesis of post-transplant recurrent FSGS and that this may be mediated by nephrin phosphorylation. Larger studies including other ethnicities are required to confirm this finding.

Keywords: focal segmental glomerulosclerosis; kidney transplantation; nephrin.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Kidney Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Kidney Transplantation* / methods
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Recurrence


  • nephrin
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Immunoglobulin G