03 December 2008
Cell-mediated immunity (CMI) was evaluated in 8 patients with focal glomerular sclerosis (FGS), 50 patients suffering from chronic mesangial proliferative glomerulonephritis without renal insufficiency and 24 healthy controls. The following parameters were measured: delayed skin reactivity to purified protein derivative, circulating lymphocytes, lymphocyte cell-surface markers (neuraminidase-treated sheep erythrocyte and erythrocyte-antibody-complement rosettes) and functional markers (mitogenic responses to concanavalin A and phytohemagglutinin). The FGS patients with nephrotic syndrome (NS) had a significant depression in CMI, characterized by decreased responses of the lymphocytes to both concanavalin A and phytohemagglutinin, impaired delayed hypersensitivity to purified protein derivative and a decreased proportion of T lymphocytes as compared with normal subjects. In contrast, the levels of all CMI parameters studied in FGS patients in remission and in patients with chronic glomerulonephritis with or without NS did not differ from normal subjects. Thus, the majority of FGS patients with NS demonstrated an impaired response in a CMI assay system. The possible significance of these phenomena in the pathophysiology of FGS is discussed.