Demonstration of antigenic sites in glomeruli of patients with acute poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis by immunofluorescein and immunoferritin technics

Am J Pathol. 1973 Jan;70(1):131-50.


The presence and localization of antigenic sites in glomeruli of 14 patients with acute poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis (AGN) were studied by immunofluorescein and immunoferritin technics. Labeled IgG fractions from the same patients were used for the identification of antigenic sites. The staining capacity of these IgG fractions depended on the time when sera were obtained. Staining was minimal during the first week, and increased up to the fourth or fifth week. Glomeruli, however, stained only when renal tissue was obtained during the early phase of the disease. Precise localization of antigenic sites was determined with ferritin-conjugated patients' IgG. Segmental deposition of ferritin was observed in the mesangial matrix and on the endothelial side of the glomerular basement membrane. Subepithelial electron-dense deposits contained no or very few ferritin particles. In contrast, ferritin-conjugated antihuman IgG was distributed diffusely in the mesangial matrix, on the endothelial side of the basement membrane and in subepithelial deposits. These findings suggest that, during the early stage of acute poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis, free antigen is present in the glomeruli of patients with this disease.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Antigens*
  • Binding Sites, Antibody*
  • Biopsy
  • Complement System Proteins
  • Ferritins
  • Fluoresceins
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Glomerulonephritis / immunology*
  • Glomerulonephritis / pathology
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Kidney Glomerulus / immunology*
  • Kidney Glomerulus / pathology
  • Methods
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Staining and Labeling
  • Streptococcal Infections / immunology*
  • Streptococcal Infections / pathology


  • Antigens
  • Fluoresceins
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Complement System Proteins
  • Ferritins