Aberrantly glycosylated serum IgA1 are closely associated with pathologic phenotypes of IgA nephropathy

Li-Xia Xu, Ming-Hui Zhao
Kidney International 2005, 68 (1): 167-72

BACKGROUND: IgA nephropathy (IgAN) is the most common glomerulonephritis with various histologic and clinical phenotypes. The mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of IgAN remained unclear. But now altered O-glycosylation of serum IgA1 observed in these patients was considered to be a key contributory factor. The aim of the current study is to investigate whether aberrantly glycosylated IgA1 was associated with pathologic phenotypes of IgAN.

METHODS: Sera from 107 patients with IgAN recently diagnosed were collected. Fifty patients were with mild mesangial proliferative IgAN, the others were with focal proliferative and sclerosing IgAN. Sera from 22 normal blood donors were used as normal controls. Biotinylated lectins were used in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to examine different glycans on IgA1 molecules. The alpha2,6 sialic acid was detected by elderberry bark lectin (SNA), the exposure of terminal galactose (Gal) and N-acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc) were detected by arachis hypogaea [peanut agglutinin (PNA)] and vilsa villosa lectin (VVL), respectively. The serum IgA1 glycans levels corrected by serum IgA1 concentrations were compared between patients and controls.

RESULTS: Reduced terminal alpha2,6 sialic acid (1.16 +/- 0.21 vs. 0.98 +/- 0.31) (P= 0.008) and galactosylation (0.30 +/- 0.29 vs. 0.16 +/- 0.19) (P= 0.029) increased exposure of (GalNAc) (0.00 vs. 0.03) (P= 0.024) were demonstrated in serum IgA1 from patients with IgAN as compared with those in controls. More important, the exposures of 2,6 sialic acid and Gal were significantly decreased, especially in patients with focal proliferative and sclerosing IgAN compared with that in patients with mild mesangial proliferative IgAN (0.91 +/- 0.34 vs. 1.05 +/- 0.25) (P= 0.014) (0.108 +/- 0.137 vs. 0.221 +/- 0.219) (P= 0.018). However, no significant difference was found between patients with mild mesangial proliferative IgAN and normal controls (P > 0.05). The exposure of GalNAc of serum IgA1 from patients with focal proliferative and sclerosing IgAN was significantly higher than that of controls (P= 0.017), but had no statistical difference with that of patients with mild mesangial proliferative IgAN.

CONCLUSION: The desialylation and degalactosylation of IgA1 in sera of patients with IgAN were closely associated with pathologic phenotypes.

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