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      Inhibition of the Lectin Pathway of the Complement System as a Novel Approach in the Management of IgA Vasculitis-Associated Nephritis

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          IgA vasculitis can present as a glomerulonephritis histologically indistinguishable from IgA nephropathy (IgAN). In IgAN, the alternative and lectin pathways mediate glomerular injury and contribute to kidney function decline. Narsoplimab is a monoclonal antibody against mannan-binding lectin serine peptidase 2 (MASP-2), a key component of the lectin pathway. It is being evaluated in a phase III trial in IgAN (NCT03608033). Histopathological similarities with IgAN suggest lectin pathway activation also occurs in IgAV-associated nephritis (IgAVN). Here, we report the first ever case of narsoplimab use for the treatment of IgAVN.

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          Most cited references 9

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          Henoch-Schönlein Purpura in adults: outcome and prognostic factors.

          Henoch-Schönlein Purpura nephritis (HSPN) has been extensively studied in children but, its natural history in adults is much less known. A cohort of 250 adults suffering HSP was retrospectively analyzed for a median follow-up period of 14.8 yr. All patients had biopsies consistent with HSP (predominant IgA mesangial deposits) associated with purpura, bowel angina, and/or abdominal pain. At presentation, palpable purpura was present in 96% of patients, and arthritis was reported in 61%, and gastrointestinal involvement in 48%. Thirty-two percent of the patients showed renal insufficiency (Creatinine clearance [CrCl] <50 ml/min), usually associated with proteinuria (99%) and/or hematuria (93%). Endocapillary glomerulonephritis was the most frequent lesion on renal biopsy (61%). At the end of follow-up, patient survival was only 74%. The first cause of death was carcinoma (most of them of respiratory or digestive tract). Regarding renal function, 11% of patients reached end-stage renal failure, 13% exhibited severe renal failure (CrCl <30 ml/min), and 14% moderate renal insufficiency (CrCl <50 ml/min). Clinical remission defined as the absence of proteinuria, hematuria, and a normal renal function was achieved in only 20%. This is a retrospective study; therefore, it is not possible to demonstrate any steroid and/or cyclophosphamide efficacy in diminishing the incidence of renal insufficiency. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that renal function impairment and proteinuria level at presentation and, on renal biopsy, the degree of interstitial fibrosis, percentage of sclerotic glomeruli, and presence of glomeruli with fibrinoid necrosis were associated with a poor renal prognosis. The data indicate that clinical presentation of HSPN in adults is severe and its outcome relatively poor, worse than in children. Identification of clinical and histologic prognostic factors may permit the design of appropriate therapeutic prospective studies.
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            Glomerular activation of the lectin pathway of complement in IgA nephropathy is associated with more severe renal disease.

            IgA nephropathy (IgAN) is characterized by glomerular co-deposition of IgA and complement components. Earlier studies showed that IgA activates the alternative pathway of complement, whereas more recent data also indicate activation of the lectin pathway. The lectin pathway can be activated by binding of mannose-binding lectin (MBL) and ficolins to carbohydrate ligands, followed by activation of MBL-associated serine proteases and C4. This study examined the potential role of the lectin pathway in IgAN. Renal biopsies of patients with IgAN (n=60) showed mesangial deposition of IgA1 but not IgA2. Glomerular deposition of MBL was observed in 15 (25%) of 60 cases with IgAN and showed a mesangial pattern. All MBL-positive case, but none of the MBL-negative cases showed glomerular co-deposition of L-ficolin, MBL-associated serine proteases, and C4d. Glomerular deposition of MBL and L-ficolin was associated with more pronounced histologic damage, as evidenced by increased mesangial proliferation, extracapillary proliferation, glomerular sclerosis, and interstitial infiltration, as well as with significantly more proteinuria. Patients who had IgAN with or without glomerular MBL deposition did not show significant differences in serum levels of MBL, L-ficolin, or IgA or in the size distribution of circulating IgA. Furthermore, in vitro experiments showed clear binding of MBL to polymeric but not monomeric patient IgA, without a significant difference between both groups. Together, these findings strongly point to a role for the lectin pathway of complement in glomerular complement activation in IgAN and suggest a contribution for both MBL and L-ficolin in the progression of the disease.
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              Human IgA activates the complement system via the mannan-binding lectin pathway.

              The recently identified lectin pathway of the complement system, initiated by binding of mannan-binding lectin (MBL) to its ligands, is a key component of innate immunity. MBL-deficient individuals show an increased susceptibility for infections, especially of the mucosal system. We examined whether IgA, an important mediator of mucosal immunity, activates the complement system via the lectin pathway. Our results indicate a dose-dependent binding of MBL to polymeric, but not monomeric IgA coated in microtiter plates. This interaction involves the carbohydrate recognition domain of MBL, because it was calcium dependent and inhibited by mannose and by mAb against this domain of MBL. Binding of MBL to IgA induces complement activation, as demonstrated by a dose-dependent deposition of C4 and C3 upon addition of a complement source. The MBL concentrations required for IgA-induced C4 and C3 activation are well below the normal MBL plasma concentrations. In line with these experiments, serum from individuals having mutations in the MBL gene showed significantly less activation of C4 by IgA and mannan than serum from wild-type individuals. We conclude that MBL binding to IgA results in complement activation, which is proposed to lead to a synergistic action of MBL and IgA in antimicrobial defense. Furthermore, our results may explain glomerular complement deposition in IgA nephropathy.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                September 2020
                28 July 2020
                : 144
                : 9
                : 453-458
                aJohn Walls Renal Unit, Leicester General Hospital, University Hospitals of Leicester, Leicester, United Kingdom
                bDepartment of Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Leicester, Leicester, United Kingdom
                cDepartment of Pathology, University Hospitals of Leicester, Leicester, United Kingdom
                Author notes
                *Haresh Selvaskandan, Department of Renal Medicine, University Hospitals of Leicester Leicester General Hospital, Gwendolen Road, Leicester LE54PW (UK),
                508841 Nephron 2020;144:453–458
                © 2020 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 3, Pages: 6
                Clinical Practice: Case Report


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