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      A rare case of Alport syndrome, atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome and Pauci-immune crescentic glomerulonephritis

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          Renal thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA) is occasionally seen in biopsies with pauci-immune necrotizing crescentic glomerulonephritis (PCGN). Recent study indicated that the complement activation is more prominent in the ANCA-negative glomerulonephritis.

          Case presentation

          We report a case of concurrent TMA and PCGN without ANCA positivity. Interestingly, our patient also had biopsy features supportive of Alport syndrome (AS). Genetic studies identified variants and polymorphisms in alternative complement pathway genes that confer substantial risk of developing atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS).


          Abnormal activation in complement pathway may represent a common pathogenic link between these three distinct entities.

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          Most cited references 27

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          Alternative complement pathway in the pathogenesis of disease mediated by anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibodies.

          Clinical and experimental data indicate that anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibodies (ANCAs) cause glomerulonephritis and vasculitis. Here we report the first evidence that complement is an important mediator of ANCA disease. Transfer of anti-myeloperoxidase (MPO) IgG into wild-type mice or anti-MPO splenocytes into immune-deficient mice caused crescentic glomerulonephritis that could be completely blocked by complement depletion. The role of specific complement activation pathways was investigated using mice with knockout of the common pathway component C5, classic and lectin binding pathway component C4, and alternative pathway component factor B. After injection of anti-MPO IgG, C4-/- mice developed disease comparable with wild-type disease; however, C5-/- and factor B-/- mice developed no disease. To substantiate a role for complement in human ANCA disease, IgG was isolated from patients with myeloperoxidase ANCA (MPO-ANCA) or proteinase 3 ANCA (PR3-ANCA) and from controls. Incubation of MPO-ANCA or PR3-ANCA IgG with human neutrophils caused release of factors that activated complement. IgG from healthy controls did not produce this effect. The findings suggest that stimulation of neutrophils by ANCA causes release of factors that activate complement via the alternative pathway, thus initiating an inflammatory amplification loop that mediates the severe necrotizing inflammation of ANCA disease.
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            C5a receptor mediates neutrophil activation and ANCA-induced glomerulonephritis.

            Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibody (ANCA)-induced necrotizing crescentic glomerulonephritis (NCGN) requires complement participation in its pathogenesis. We tested the hypothesis that the anaphylatoxin C5a is pivotal to disease induction via the neutrophil C5a receptor (C5aR). Supernatants from ANCA-activated neutrophils activated the complement cascade in normal serum, producing C5a. This conditioned serum primed neutrophils for ANCA-induced respiratory burst; neutrophil C5aR blockade abrogated this priming, but C3aR blockade did not. Furthermore, recombinant C5a but not C3a dosage-dependently primed neutrophils for ANCA-induced respiratory burst. To test the role of C5aR in a model of NCGN, we immunized myeloperoxidase-deficient mice with myeloperoxidase, irradiated them, and transplanted bone marrow from wild-type mice or C5aR-deficient mice into them. All mice that received wild-type marrow (six of six) but only one of eight mice that received C5aR-deficient marrow developed NCGN (P < 0.05). Albuminuria and neutrophil influx into glomeruli were also significantly attenuated in the mice that received C5aR-deficient marrow (P < 0.05). In summary, C5a and the neutrophil C5aR may compose an amplification loop for ANCA-mediated neutrophil activation. The C5aR may provide a new therapeutic target for ANCA-induced necrotizing crescentic glomerulonephritis.
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              Mutations in alternative pathway complement proteins in American patients with atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome.

              Atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS) is characterized by acute renal failure, thrombocytopenia and microangiopathic hemolytic anemia, and occurs with an estimated incidence in the USA of 2 per 1,000,000. Disease pathogenesis is related to dysregulation of the alternative pathway (AP) of the complement cascade at the level of the cell membrane secondary to mutations in a number of complement genes including complement factor H (CFH), complement factor H-related 5 (CFHR5), complement factor I (CFI), CD46 (MCP), complement factor B (CFB), complement component 3 (C3) and thrombomodulin (THBD). Since aHUS is rare, mutation rate data in large patient cohorts are scarce. Here we present the first cohort of American patients in whom mutation screening was completed on all genes currently implicated in aHUS. In addition to identifying a number of novel variants, we provide information on the relative frequency of mutations in these genes in an American aHUS population. Twelve percent (12%) of patients carrying disease-associated genetic variants segregated mutations in more than one gene mandating comprehensive genetic testing in the diagnosis and management of these patients.

                Author and article information

                BMC Nephrol
                BMC Nephrol
                BMC Nephrology
                BioMed Central (London )
                12 December 2018
                12 December 2018
                : 19
                [1 ]ISNI 0000000419368956, GRID grid.168010.e, Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, , Stanford University, ; Stanford, USA
                [2 ]ISNI 0000 0004 0442 6914, GRID grid.477490.9, Department of Nephrology, , Kaiser Permanente, ; San Francisco, CA USA
                [3 ]ISNI 0000000419368956, GRID grid.168010.e, Department of Pathology, , Stanford University, ; Stanford, CA USA
                © The Author(s). 2018

                Open AccessThis 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. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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