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      Future Directions in the Treatment of IgA Nephropathy

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          IgA nephropathy (IgAN) is the most common primary glomerulonephritis yet its etiology remains uncertain. Recent data suggest a structural aberration of the IgA molecule in IgAN that may exert pathophysiologic effects on target cells, reduce clearance of IgA-immune complexes (IC), or favor mesangial IC trapping. Mesangial reactivity to immune complexes triggers off the release of cytokines and the alteration of prostaglandin and thromboxane A<sub>2</sub> production promoting mesangial cell proliferation. Angiotensin II-induced mesangial cells contraction with efferent arteriolar vasodilatation initiates glomerular injury and eventually lead to glomerulosclerosis following increased local production of transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF). This paper highlights the potential therapeutic strategies in the future. These strategies include: (i) decreasing the synthesis of IgA-IC; (ii) limiting the mesangial uptake of IgA-IC; (iii) antagonizing the effect of PDGF and TGF-β to reduce mesangial proliferation and glomerulosclerosis; and (iv) reducing the noxious glomerular injury due to infiltrating neutrophils. The effective treatment of IgAN requires a better clarification of the pathogenesis of the nephropathy. Future therapeutic attempts to slow down the renal deterioration should target at prevention of mesangial IgA deposition and the amelioration of inflammatory injury induced by infiltrating neutrophils and the released cytokines.

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          Most cited references 7

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          Suppression of experimental glomerulonephritis by antiserum against transforming growth factor beta 1.

          Glomerulonephritis is an inflammation of the kidney characterized by the accumulation of extracellular matrix within the damaged glomeruli, impaired filtration and proteinuria. In its progressive form, the disease destroys kidney function leading to uraemia and death, unless dialysis therapy or kidney transplantation is available. The pathogenesis of glomerulonephritis is incompletely understood, but the eliciting factor is thought often to be an immunological injury to mesangial and/or other resident cells in the glomeruli. We have used an animal model of acute mesangial proliferative glomerulonephritis to show that this disease is associated with increased production and activity of transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-beta 1), an inducer of extracellular matrix production. Here we report that administration of anti-TGF-beta 1 at the time of induction of the glomerular disease suppresses the increased production of extracellular matrix and dramatically attenuates histological manifestations of the disease. These results provide direct evidence for a causal role of TGF-beta 1 in the pathogenesis of the experimental disease and suggest a new approach to the therapy of glomerulonephritis.
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            Macrophage production of transforming growth factor beta and fibroblast collagen synthesis in chronic pulmonary inflammation

            A rat model of bleomycin-induced pulmonary inflammation and fibrosis was used to examine the relationship between collagen synthesis and transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) production, and cellular distribution. Total lung TGF-beta was elevated within 2 h of intratracheal bleomycin administration and peaked 7 d later at levels 30-fold higher than controls. This was followed by a gradual decline with lower but persistent levels of production in the late phase of the response between 21 and 28 d later. The peak TGF-beta levels preceded the maximum collagen and noncollagen protein synthesis measured by [3H]proline incorporation into lung fibroblast explants of bleomycin- treated rats. The pattern of immunohistochemical staining localized TGF- beta initially in the cytoplasm of bronchiolar epithelium cells and subepithelial extracellular matrix. The peak of lung TGF-beta levels at 7 d coincided with intense TGF-beta staining of macrophages dispersed in the alveolar interstitium and in organized clusters. Later in the course of the response. TGF-beta was primarily associated with extracellular matrix in regions of increased cellularity and tissue repair, and coincided with the maximum fibroblast collagen synthesis. This temporal and spatial relationship between collagen production and TGF-beta production by macrophages suggests an important if not primary role for TGF-beta in the pathogenesis of the pulmonary fibrosis.
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              IgA nephropathy, the most common cause of glomerulonephritis, is linked to 6q22-23.

              End-stage renal disease (ESRD) is a major public health problem, affecting 1 in 1,000 individuals and with an annual death rate of 20% despite dialysis treatment. IgA nephropathy (IgAN) is the most common form of glomerulonephritis, a principal cause of ESRD worldwide; it affects up to 1.3% of the population and its pathogenesis is unknown. Kidneys of people with IgAN show deposits of IgA-containing immune complexes with proliferation of the glomerular mesangium (Fig. 1). Typical clinical features include onset before age 40 with haematuria and proteinuria (blood and protein in the urine), and episodes of gross haematuria following mucosal infections are common; 30% of patients develop progressive renal failure. Although not generally considered a hereditary disease, striking ethnic variation in prevalence and familial clustering, along with subclinical renal abnormalities among relatives of IgAN cases, have suggested a heretofore undefined genetic component. By genome-wide analysis of linkage in 30 multiplex IgAN kindreds, we demonstrate linkage of IgAN to 6q22-23 under a dominant model of transmission with incomplete penetrance, with a lod score of 5.6 and 60% of kindreds linked. These findings for the first time indicate the existence of a locus with large effect on development of IgAN and identify the chromosomal location of this disease gene.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                October 2002
                02 September 2002
                : 92
                : 2
                : 263-270
                Department of Medicine, Queen Mary Hospital, University of Hong Kong, China
                63294 Nephron 2002;92:263–270
                © 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                References: 61, Pages: 8
                Self URI (application/pdf): https://www.karger.com/Article/Pdf/63294
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