There is increasing evidence that platelets are involved in the pathogenesis of glomerulonephritis. Intraglomerular platelets or their degradation products are observed in biopsies from patients with lupus nephritis, mesangioproliferative, membranous or IgA nephropathy. Moreover shortened platelet survival in patients with various glomerular diseases has also been described. In models of experimental glomerulonephritis, platelets may participate in glomerular injury, together with other mediators, by complex mechanisms. As extensively documented, platelets release within the glomerulus vasoactive, chemotactic and mitogenic substances that interact with a number of soluble mediators generated by renal resident or inflammatory cells and contribute to amplify glomerular injury. Thus platelet-activating factor and other platelet secretory products, polycationic macromolecules, platelet factor 4 and β-thromboglobulin, alter glomerular permeability to proteins and enhance immune-mediated glomerular injury. Platelet-derived factors, like platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) mediate renal disease progression in experimental and human glomerulonephritis via their chemotactic activity for infiltrating leucocytes and their effect of promoting extracellular matrix synthesis by resident renal cells. In these settings increased renal expression of PDGF and TGFβ has correlated with clinical features. Specific PDGF and TGFβ inhibitors ameliorated experimental glomerular disease. A wide variety of therapies to inhibit platelet function have been employed over the years, however the results of clinical studies are controversial and do not allow conclusions to be drawn about the efficacy of anti-platelet agents in progressive renal disease. Identification of specific platelet inhibitors or interventions specific for platelet secretory products and their target cells will be crucial for understanding the exact role of platelets and their products in glomerular disease.
- Progressive glomerular diseases
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health