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      New insights into the pathogenesis of IgA nephropathy

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          IgA nephropathy is the most common form of glomerulonephritis in many parts of the world and remains an important cause of end-stage renal disease. Current evidence suggests that IgA nephropathy is not due to a single pathogenic insult, but rather the result of multiple sequential pathogenic “hits”. An abnormally increased level of circulating poorly O-galactosylated IgA1 and the production of O-glycan-specific antibodies leads to the formation of IgA1-containing immune complexes, and their subsequent mesangial deposition results in inflammation and glomerular injury. While this general framework has formed the foundation of our current understanding of the pathogenesis of IgA nephropathy, much work is ongoing to try to precisely define the genetic, epigenetic, immunological, and molecular basis of IgA nephropathy. In particular, the precise origin of poorly O-galactosylated IgA1 and the inciting factors for the production of O-glycan-specific antibodies continue to be intensely evaluated. The mechanisms responsible for mesangial IgA1 deposition and subsequent renal injury also remain incompletely understood. In this review, we summarize the current understanding of the key steps involved in the pathogenesis of IgA nephropathy. It is hoped that further advances in our understanding of this common glomerulonephritis will lead to novel diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers, and targeted therapies to ameliorate disease progression.

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          Most cited references 88

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          Elevated serum B lymphocyte stimulator levels in patients with systemic immune-based rheumatic diseases.

          To determine whether serum levels of B lymphocyte stimulator (BLyS) are elevated in patients with systemic immune-based rheumatic diseases and correlate with serum Ig levels and/or autoantibody titers. Sera from 185 patients with various systemic immune-based rheumatic diseases (95 with systemic lupus erythematosus [SLE], 67 with rheumatoid arthritis [RA], 23 with other diagnoses) were assayed for BLyS and Ig. In 7 patients who required arthrocentesis of a swollen knee, coincident serum and synovial fluid samples were assayed for BLyS. Medical charts were retrospectively reviewed for elevated autoantibody titers and proteinuria within a 1-month period before or after collection of sera for BLyS and Ig determination. Sera concurrently collected from 48 normal healthy subjects served as controls. Serum BLyS levels were elevated in 38 of 185 patients (21%) and correlated significantly with serum IgG levels. Serum BLyS levels did not correlate with the patients' age, sex, race, or medications, but correlated positively with anti-double-stranded DNA antibody titers among SLE patients and with rheumatoid factor titers among seropositive RA patients. In contrast, serum BLyS levels correlated inversely with nephrotic-range proteinuria among SLE patients. In every case tested, BLyS levels in clinically inflamed synovial fluids were greater than those in simultaneously obtained sera. BLyS may be an important factor in driving polyclonal hypergammaglobulinemia and elevated autoantibody titers in patients with systemic immune-based rheumatic diseases. Local production of BLyS in the joints may contribute to joint pathology. Patients with elevated serum BLyS levels may be ideal candidates for therapeutic targeting of BLyS.
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            Long-term renal survival and related risk factors in patients with IgA nephropathy: results from a cohort of 1155 cases in a Chinese adult population.

            We sought to identify the long-term renal survival rate and related risk factors of progression to renal failure in Chinese adult patients with IgA nephropathy (IgAN) and to quantify the effects of proteinuria during the follow-up on outcome in patients with IgAN. Patients with biopsy-proven primary IgAN in the Nanjing Glomerulonephritis Registry were studied. Renal survival and the relationships between clinical parameters and renal outcomes were assessed. One thousand one hundred and fifty-five patients were enrolled in this study. The 10-, 15- and 20-year cumulative renal survival rates, calculated by Kaplan-Meier method, were 83, 74 and 64%, respectively. At the time of biopsy, proteinuria>1.0 g/day [hazard ratio (HR) 3.2, P 1.0 g/day were associated with a 9.4-fold risk than patients with TA-P<1.0 g/day (P<0.001) and 46.5-fold risk than those with TA-P<0.5 g/day (P<0.001). Moreover, patients who achieved TA-P<0.5 g/day benefit much more than those with TA-P between 0.5 and 1.0 g/day (HR 13.1, P<0.001). Thirty-six percent of Chinese adult patients with IgAN progress to end stage renal disease within 20 years. Five clinical features-higher proteinuria, hypertension, impaired renal function, hypoproteinemia and hyperuricemia-are independent predictors of an unfavorable renal outcome. The basic goal of anti-proteinuric therapy for Chinese patients is to lower proteinuria<1.0 g/day and the optimal goal is to lower proteinuria to <0.5 g/day.
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              The level of BLyS (BAFF) correlates with the titre of autoantibodies in human Sjögren's syndrome.

               T Zhou,  X Mariette,  F Lavie (2003)
              Increased levels of B lymphocyte stimulator (BLyS) have been detected in serum from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. To determine the level of BLyS in serum from patients with primary's Sjögren's syndrome (SS), another autoimmune disease in which B cell activation is high. Serum samples from 49 patients with primary SS according to the revised European criteria were assayed for BLyS, quantitative immunoglobulins, and autoantibody levels and compared with samples from 47 healthy control subjects. The median level of BLyS was 5.99 ng/ml (25th-75th centile range 3.20-8.93 ng/ml) in SS v 2.49 ng/ml (25th-75th centile range 1.96-2.96 ng/ml) in healthy controls (p<0.001). More importantly, among patients with SS, the presence of anti-SSA antibodies was associated with significantly higher levels of BLyS (medians 7.90 ng/ml v 3.70 ng/ml; p=0.008) as was the presence of anti-SSB antibodies (medians 7.14 ng/ml v 3.70 ng/ml; p=0.02) and of rheumatoid factor (medians 7.70 ng/ml v 3.80 ng/ml; p=0.016). The level of BLyS in three patients with a monoclonal gammopathy was higher than in the other patients (medians 26.53 ng/ml v 5.92 ng/ml; p=0.13). Higher levels of BLyS were associated with higher levels of gammaglobulins and IgG. There was a strong correlation between BLyS and rheumatoid factor level (r=0.71, p<0.0001), anti-SSA IgG level (r=0.32, p=0.02) and anti-SSA IgM level (r=0.39, p=0.006). In human SS the level of BLyS correlates with the level of autoantibodies. Thus, BLyS may play a part in activating specific autoreactive B cells and modulating the level of production of autoantibodies which are the hallmark of the disease. These findings raise the possibility of a novel therapeutic approach in human SS.

                Author and article information

                01162588043 ,
                Pediatr Nephrol
                Pediatr. Nephrol
                Pediatric Nephrology (Berlin, Germany)
                Springer Berlin Heidelberg (Berlin/Heidelberg )
                17 June 2017
                17 June 2017
                : 33
                : 5
                : 763-777
                [1 ]GRID grid.240988.f, Department of Renal Medicine, , Tan Tock Seng Hospital, ; Singapore, Singapore
                [2 ]ISNI 0000 0004 1936 8411, GRID grid.9918.9, Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, , University of Leicester, ; University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH UK
                [3 ]ISNI 0000 0004 0400 6629, GRID grid.412934.9, The John Walls Renal Unit, , Leicester General Hospital, ; Leicester, UK
                © The Author(s) 2017

                Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

                Funded by: University of Leicester
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                © IPNA 2018


                immune complexes, iga nephropathy, pathogenesis, iga1, o-galactosylation


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