Formation and clearance of tubulointerstitial immune complexes in kidneys of rats immunized with heterologous antisera to Tamm-Horsfall protein

Friedman, Jeffrey; Hoyer, John R.; Seiler, Marcel W.
April 1982
Kidney International;Apr1982, Vol. 21 Issue 4, p575
Academic Journal
Tubulointerstitial immune complex nephritis was produced by passive immunization of rats with antisera to rat Tamm-Horsfall protein (TH), a surface membrane glycoprotein of the cells of the thick ascending limb of Henle's loop. Circulating anti-TH antibodies were deposited in the kidney after an intravenous injection of rabbit antisera to TH. These anti-TH antibodies combined with TH at the base of tubular cells in the thick ascending limb of Henle's loop and formed granular immune complexes in situ in the space between basal cell surface membranes and tubular basement membranes. Immune complexes were also selectively formed in this site during perfusion of isolated kidneys with antisera to TH. Tubular immune complexes containing immunoglobulin, complement, and TH were maximal during the first week after an intravenous injection while high circulating anti-TH antibody titers were present. As the antibody titers subsequently fell to undetectable levels, tubular immune complexes were rapidly cleared and were virtually absent 4 weeks after the injection. During this clearance phase, rabbit IgG and rat TH were detected in the renal interstitium and in renal hilar lymph nodes. The rapid clearance of subepithelial TH immune complexes contrasts with the prolonged persistance of both glomerular subepithelial immune complexes and basement membrane deposits formed after injection of heterologous antisera to other renal components. The process of rapid clearance of tubulointerstitial immune complexes may allow rapid reversibility of immune injury in tubulointerstitial nephritis.


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