Mesangial immune complex glomerulonephritis due to complement factor D deficiency

M. A. Abrera-Abeleda, Y. Xu, M. C. Pickering, R. J.H. Smith, S. Sethi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Complement factor D is a serine protease essential for the activation of the alternative pathway and is expressed in the kidney, adipocytes, and macrophages. Factor D is found at relatively high levels in glomeruli suggesting that this component of the complement cascade could influence renal pathophysiology. In this study, we utilize mice with a targeted deletion of the activating complement factor D gene and compare these results to mice with targeted deletion of the inhibitory complement factor H gene. Eight-month-old mice with a deleted factor D gene spontaneously develop albuminuria and have reduced creatinine clearance due to mesangial immune complex glomerulonephritis. These mesangial deposits contain C3 and IgM. In contrast to the mesangial location of the immune deposits in the factor D-deficient mice, age-matched factor H-deficient mice develop immune deposits along the glomerular capillary wall. Our observations suggest that complement factor D or alternative pathway activation is needed to prevent spontaneous accumulation of C3 and IgM deposits within the mesangium. Our studies show that the complement factor D gene knockout mice are a novel model of spontaneous mesangial immune complex glomerulonephritis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1142-1147
Number of pages6
JournalKidney international
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 2007


  • Factor D deficiency
  • Kidney
  • Mesangial deposits
  • Mesangial immune complexes
  • Transgenic mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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