Progress in understanding the pathogenesis of IgA nephropathy: New perspectives for the near future?

Segarra, A.
October 2010
Nefrologia;Oct2010, Vol. 30 Issue 5, p501
Academic Journal
Progress in understanding the pathogenesis of IgA nephropathy has shown that probably there is no a single IgA nephropathy with the same pathogenic mechanism, clinical course and response to therapy. The evidence currently available suggests the existence of at least two possible mechanisms of IgA deposition in the renal mesangium. In a small percentage of patients, mesangial deposition of IgA1 colocalizes with secretory component, indicating that the deposited IgA1 in glomeruli originates completely or partly in the mucose-associated lymphoid tissue. This deposition pattern has been associated with activation of complement by the lectin pathway and has been associated with a worse prognosis, although this last statement needs to be confirmed in long-term studies. The mechanisms responsible for secretory IgA deposition are not known. In the majority of patients with IgA nephropathy secretory component is not detectable in the mesangium. In these cases, the presence of elevated circulating levels of galactose-deficient IgA, produced by bone marrow plasma cells would be a predisposing factor but not sufficient to induce nephropathy. To produce kidney disease, galactosedeficient IgA1 must be deposited in the renal mesangium, and once there, either by interaction with specific receptors (CD71?), by direct activation of complement or by being the target of an IgG autoimmune response anti-IgA, induce activation, proliferation and increased mesangial matrix synthesis and eventually cell injury. In parallel, galactosedeficient IgA, through interaction with the RR Fc alpha/gamma, may activate circulating lymphocytes and monocytes and enhance their response to chemoattractants produced by the mesangial cell, causing, thus, the inflammatory infiltrate to initiate and maintain the interstitial injury. In the next few years, advances recently added to the knowledge of the pathogenesis of nephropathy IgA1 could provide new variables that allow walking in the direction of having a classification of patients based not only in clinical and morphological criteria but also having a greater pathogenic basis.


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