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Dense deposit disease and C3 glomerulopathy

Thomas D Barbour, Matthew C Pickering, H Terence Cook
Seminars in Nephrology 2013, 33 (6): 493-507
24161036
C3 glomerulopathy refers to those renal lesions characterized histologically by predominant C3 accumulation within the glomerulus, and pathogenetically by aberrant regulation of the alternative pathway of complement. Dense deposit disease is distinguished from other forms of C3 glomerulopathy by its characteristic appearance on electron microscopy. The extent to which dense deposit disease also differs from other forms of C3 glomerulopathy in terms of clinical features, natural history, and outcomes of treatment including renal transplantation is less clear. We discuss the pathophysiology of C3 glomerulopathy, with evidence for alternative pathway dysregulation obtained from affected individuals and complement factor H (Cfh)-deficient animal models. Recent linkage studies in familial C3 glomerulopathy have shown genomic rearrangements in the Cfh-related genes, for which the novel pathophysiologic concept of Cfh deregulation has been proposed.

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