Glomerular monocyte-macrophage features in ANCA-positive renal vasculitis and cryoglobulinemic nephritis

Maria Pia Rastaldi, Franco Ferrario, Andor Crippa, Giacomo Dell'Antonio, Donatella Casartelli, Carlo Grillo, Giuseppe D'Amico

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Although it is widely known that many macrophages are present in glomeruli of antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-positive renal vasculitis (ANCA+RV) and are believed to contribute to necrotizing extracapillary damage, their precise role is not yet completely understood, especially in humans. The goal of this study was to provide evidence of glomerular macrophage properties in human vasculitis. Twenty-five renal biopsies of ANCA+RV and 18 cases of cryoglobulinemic glomerulonephritis (cryoGN), a disease characterized by massive glomerular macrophage infiltration but absence of necrotizing extracapillary lesions, were selected, and macrophage number, adhesion, acute activation, proliferation, and apoptosis were analyzed by immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization. Accumulation of macrophages in ANCA+RV was found in areas of glomerular active lesions, whereas in cryoGN, they homogeneously occupied the entire glomerular tuft. Considering the areas of accumulation, comparable macrophage numbers were detected in both diseases. Glomerular vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 was found only in ANCA+RV and only in areas of active lesions. Acute macrophage activation (HLA class II, 27E10) and proinflammatory cytokine production (tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1α) were prominent in ANCA+RV, whereas in cryoGN, 30% of glomerular macrophages seemed activated and cytokine expression was limited to a few glomerular cells (P = 0.01). Moreover, only in ANCA+RV proliferative markers were shown on glomerular macrophages and apoptotic macrophages were found. From the data, it seems that ANCA+RV and cryoGN differ profoundly in macrophage properties, namely adhesion, proliferation, and apoptotic clearance. Moreover, acute activation rand cytokine production seem to be present in a greater number of macrophages in ANCA+RV, giving this disease a stronger severity that could be taken into account for therapeutic strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2036-2043
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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