Membranous Nephropathy: A Journey From Bench to Bedside

Jean M Francis, Laurence H Beck, David J Salant
American Journal of Kidney Diseases 2016, 68 (1): 138-47
Lessons from an animal model that faithfully resembles human membranous nephropathy (MN) have informed our understanding of the pathogenesis of this organ-specific autoimmune disease and common cause of nephrotic syndrome. After it was established that the subepithelial immune deposits that characterize experimental MN form in situ when circulating antibodies bind to an intrinsic podocyte antigen, it was merely a matter of time before the human antigen was identified. The M-type phospholipase A2 receptor 1 (PLA2R) represents the major target antigen in primary MN, and thrombospondin type 1 domain-containing 7A (THSD7A) was more recently identified as a minor antigen. Serologic tests for anti-PLA2R and kidney biopsy specimen staining for PLA2R show >90% specificity and 70% to 80% sensitivity for the diagnosis of primary MN in most populations. The assays distinguish most cases of primary MN from MN associated with other systemic diseases, and sequential anti-PLA2R titers are useful to monitor treatment response. A positive pretransplantation test result for anti-PLA2R is also helpful for predicting the risk for posttransplantation recurrence. Identification of target epitopes within PLA2R and the genetic association of primary MN with class II major histocompatibility and PLA2R1 variants are 2 additional examples of our evolving understanding of this disease.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"