Severe glomerular epithelial cell damage does not prevent passive Heyman nephritis in rats

T. Bertani, G. Remuzzi, A. Poggi, F. Delaini, G. Sacchi, L. Morassi, P. Verroust, G. Mecca, M. B. Donati

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Passive Heyman nephritis (PHN) is an experimental model of membranous glomerulopathy in the rat ascribed to in situ formation of immune complexes. Very recently the demonstration that the aminonucleoside of puromycin provides some protection against PHN has highlighted the role of intrinsic properties of the glomerulus in immune complex formation. Adriamycin, a widely employed chemotherapeutic agent, is known to induce a nephrotic syndrome in rats characterized by severe ultrastructural changes of glomerular epithelial cells and by loss of glomerular polyanionic charges. We have studied the effect of pre-treatment with adriamycin on glomerular immune deposits in PHN using immunomorphological and quantitative techniques. In normal rats (group 1) injection of heterologous antibodies to proximal tubular brush border antigen (anti-FxIA), rapidly induces subepithelial immune deposits, as observed by immunofluorescence. Pre-treatment of rats with adriamycin (group 2) 48 hr before injection of anti-FxIA antibodies, when proteinuria is absent, does not alter the immunohistological findings of PHN. Heavily proteinuric rats (group 3) pre-treated with adriamycin 13 days before injection of anti-FxIA did not show any significant difference from groups 1 and 2. Specific binding of injected anti-FxIA antibodies, studied by paired label techniques, was similar in normal rats and in proteinuric and non-proteinuric rats treated with adriamycin. The only difference was in the group of proteinuric rats treated with adriamycin, in which at 5 hr binding in the kidney was higher, due to tubular brush border binding as shown by immunofluorescence. This study indicates that local changes of the glomerulus and loss of glomerular histochemical properties do not invariably alter the glomerular deposition of immune complexes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-44
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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