11 December 2008
Familial idiopathic membranous nephropathy, an immune-complex-associated glomerulopathy, has not been previously reported in father and son, despite its striking immunogenetic correlation, especially with HLA-DR3. As a dysfunction of the monocyte-phagocyte system (MPS), it has been observed linked to DR3 antigen, so we studied the MPS Fc receptor function in a father and his son with a histologically proven membranous nephropathy, associated with the haplotype A9-B35-DR3-DQw2. The Fc receptor function of the MPS was examined by measuring the clearance of IgG-sensitized, <sup>51</sup>Cr-labeled erythrocytes and by measuring the ability of isolated monocytes to ingest autologous red blood cells coated with IgG anti-Rh (D) antibody. Immune clearance and in vitro phagocytosis was normal in both patients and not related to their levels of immune complexes (as measured by ELISA Clq and Conglutinin solid-phase binding assay). This report suggest that genetic factors may play an important role in the development of membranous nephropathy, and it seems not to be related to a dysfunction of MPS as measured by these tests.