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Clin Nephrol. 2000 Dec;54(6):478-86.

Membranous glomerulopathy with Bowman's capsular and tubular basement membrane deposits.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, New York, NY, USA.


Bowman's capsular and tubular basement membrane (TBM) deposits are an extremely unusual finding in non-lupus membranous glomerulopathy (MGN). We report three atypical cases of MGN with abundant Bowman's capsular and TBM deposits. In two cases, MGN was idiopathic; in the third case, MGN occurred in the renal allograft in the setting of HCV seropositivity. In addition to the usual glomerular capillary wall deposits, immunofluorescence and electron microscopy revealed extensive immune deposits within Bowman's capsule and TBMs, predominantly at the base of parietal and tubular epithelial cells. These cases suggest a potential pathomechanism of autoantibody to secreted epithelial antigens shared by visceral, parietal, and tubular epithelial cells. In all three cases, indirect immunofluorescence was unable to detect autoantibody to normal renal epithelial or matrix constituents. Furthermore, ELISA was unable to demonstrate circulating antibody to major extracellular matrix components. The implications of these findings for the pathogenesis of MGN are explored.

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