Multi-autoantibody signature and clinical outcome in membranous nephropathy: Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology

G.M. Ghiggeri, B. Seitz-Polski, J. Justino, C. Zaghrini, C. Payré, V. Brglez, G. Dolla, A. Sinico, F. Scolari, A. Vaglio, M. Prunotto, G. Candiano, A. Radice, M. Bruschi, G. Lambeau, Italian Study Group for Membranous Nephropathy

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Background and objectives Patients with membranous nephropathy can have circulating autoantibodies against membrane-bound (phospholipase A2 receptor 1 [PLA2R1] and thrombospondin type-1 domain containing 7A [THSD7A]) and intracellular (aldose reductase, SOD2, and a-enolase) podocyte autoantigens. We studied their combined association with clinical outcomes. Design, setting, participants,&measurements Serumlevels of anti-PLA2R1, anti-THSD7A, anti-aldose reductase, anti-SOD2, and anti2a-enolase autoantibodies were determined in 285 patients at diagnosis and during follow-up using standardized and homemade assays. An eGFR.60 ml/min per 73 m2 and remission of proteinuria (,0.3/,3.5 g per d) after 12 months were the outcomes of interest. Results At diagnosis, 182 (64%), eight (3%), and 95 (33%) patients were anti-PLA2R11, anti-THSD7A1, and double negative, respectively. The prevalence of a detectable antibody to at least one intracellular antigen was similarly distributed in patients who were anti-PLA2R11 (n5118, 65%) and double negative (n564, 67%). Positivity for anti-PLA2R1, anti-SOD2, and anti–a-enolase antibodies and higher titers at diagnosis were associated with poor clinical outcome independently to each other. Combined positivity for anti-PLA2R1, anti-SOD2, and anti2a-enolase was associated with highest risk of poor outcome (odds ratio, 5; 95% confidence interval, 2 to 24; P50.01). In Kaplan–Meier analysis, patients who were anti-PLA2R11/anti-SOD21 or anti-PLA2R11/anti2a-enolase1 had lower eGFR at 12 months compared with patients who were anti-PLA2R11/anti-SOD22 or anti2a-enolase2. Predictive tests (net reclassification index and area under the curve–receiver-operating characteristic analysis) showed that combined assessment of antibodies improved classification of outcome in 22%–34% of cases for partial remission of proteinuria andmaintenance of normal eGFR. For patients with nephrotic syndrome at diagnosis, anti-SOD2 positivity and high anti-PLA2R1 titer were associated with a lack of complete remission. Patients who were anti-PLA2R12/anti-intracellular antigens2 had the lowest proteinuria and the highest eGFR at diagnosis and the lowest risk of lower eGFR at 12months. Epitope spreading was present in 81% of patients who were anti- PLA2R11 and was associated with increased positivity for intracellular antigens and poor eGFR at diagnosis and 12 months. Conclusions Combined serological analysis of autoantibodies targeting membrane-bound and intracellular autoantigens identifies patients with poor clinical outcomes. © 2020, American Society of Nephrology. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1762-1776
Number of pages15
JournalClin. J. Am. Soc. Nephrol.
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • aldehyde reductase
  • alpha enolase
  • autoantibody
  • autoantigen
  • creatinine
  • cryoglobulin
  • cyclosporine
  • cytotoxic agent
  • dipeptidyl carboxypeptidase inhibitor
  • enolase
  • epitope
  • hemagglutinin
  • kidney injury molecule 1
  • manganese superoxide dismutase
  • neuron specific enolase
  • phospholipase A2
  • phospholipase A2 receptor
  • phospholipase A2 receptor 1
  • rituximab
  • unclassified drug
  • adult
  • aged
  • Article
  • clinical outcome
  • cross-sectional study
  • enzyme linked immunosorbent assay
  • estimated glomerular filtration rate
  • follow up
  • glomerulopathy
  • histology
  • human
  • immunofluorescence
  • kidney biopsy
  • kidney function
  • major clinical study
  • male
  • membranous glomerulonephritis
  • nephrotic syndrome
  • prevalence
  • proteinuria
  • receiver operating characteristic
  • remission
  • sensitivity and specificity
  • urinalysis
  • Western blotting


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