Coexistence of different circulating anti-podocyte antibodies in membranous nephropathy

Corrado Murtas, Maurizio Bruschi, Giovanni Candiano, Gabriella Moroni, Riccardo Magistroni, Andrea Magnano, Francesca Bruno, Antonella Radice, Luciana Furci, Lucia Argentiero, Maria Luisa Carnevali, Piergiorgio Messa, Francesco Scolari, Renato Alberto Sinico, Loreto Gesualdo, Fernando C. Fervenza, Landino Allegri, Pietro Ravani, Gian Marco Ghiggeri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


Background and objectives The discovery of different podocyte autoantibodies in membranous nephropathy (MN) raises questions about their pathogenetic and clinical meaning. This study sought to define antibody isotypes and correlations; to compare levels in MN, other glomerulonephritides, and controls; and to determine their association with clinical outcomes. Design, setting, participants, & measurements Serum IgG1, IgG3, and IgG4 against aldose reductase (AR), SOD2, and α-enolase (αENO) were measured at diagnosis in 186 consecutiveMN patients, in 96 proteinuric controls (36 with FSGS, and 60 with IgA nephropathy), and in 92 healthy people recruited in four Italian nephrology units. Anti-phospholipase A2 receptor (PLA2r) and anti-neutral endopeptidase (NEP) IgG4 were titrated in the same specimens. Association with 1-year follow-up clinical parameters was studied in 120 patients. Results IgG4 was the most common isotype for all antibodies; IgG1 and IgG3 were nearly negligible. IgG4 levels were positive in a significant proportion ofMNpatients (AR, 34%; SOD2, 28%; aENO, 43%).Antibody titerswere higher in MN than in healthy and pathologic controls (P<0.005). Anti-NEP IgG4 did not differ from normal controls (P=0.12). Anti-PLA2r IgG4 was detected in 60% of patients and correlated with anti-AR, anti-SOD2, and anti-αENO IgG4 (P<0.001). In MN patients negative for the whole antibody panel (20%), 1-year proteinuria was lower compared with patients with at least one antibody positivity (P<0.05). Conclusions Our data suggest that IgG4 is the prevalent isotype for antibodies against cytoplasmic antigens of podocytes (AR, SOD2, αENO). Their levels were higher than in other proteinuric glomerulonephritides and in normal controls and were correlated with anti-PLA2r. Only baseline negativity for all known antibodies predicted lower 1-year proteinuria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1394-1400
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Nephrology
  • Transplantation


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