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J Med Genet. 2006 Jul;43(7):582-9. Epub 2005 Nov 18.

Variations in the complement regulatory genes factor H (CFH) and factor H related 5 (CFHR5) are associated with membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis type II (dense deposit disease).

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  • 1Department of Otolaryngology, Division of Nephrology, Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA.



Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis type II or dense deposit disease (MPGN II/DDD) causes chronic renal dysfunction that progresses to end stage renal disease in about half of patients within 10 years of diagnosis. Deficiency of and mutations in the complement factor H (CFH) gene are associated with the development of MPGN II/DDD, suggesting that dysregulation of the alternative pathway of the complement cascade is important in disease pathophysiology.


Patients with MPGN II/DDD were studied to determine whether specific allele variants of CFH and CFHR5 segregate preferentially with the MPGN II/DDD disease phenotype. The control group was compromised of 131 people in whom age related macular degeneration had been excluded.


Allele frequencies of four single nucleotide polymorphisms in CFH and three in CFHR5 were significantly different between MPGN II/DDD patients and controls.


We have identified specific allele variants of CFH and CFHR5 associated with the MPGN II/DDD disease phenotype. While our data can be interpreted to further implicate complement in the pathogenesis of MPGN II/DDD, these associations could also be unrelated to disease pathophysiology. Functional studies are required to resolve this question.

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