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Kidney Int Suppl. 1999 Jul;71:S110-2.

Lipid-lowering therapy in membranous nephropathy.

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University Hospital of Vienna, Austria.


Membranous nephropathy (MN) is a very common cause of nephrotic syndrome in adults, and lipid abnormalities are, therefore, frequently found in these subjects. Although efficient lipid-lowering therapy is available, almost nothing is known about the contribution of hyperlipidemia in the pathogenesis of progressive renal failure in MN. Studies in an experimental animal model of human MN, Heymann nephritis, have shown that lipids play an essential role in the pathogenesis of proteinuria. Local production of reactive oxygen species after subepithelial immune complex deposition leads to the formation of lipid peroxidation (LPO) adducts, which ultimately alter the composition of the glomerular basement membrane. As the magnitude of urinary protein excretion is associated with the long-term prognosis, a normalization of glomerular permselective properties has been used as a surrogate parameter for the beneficial effects of treatment. Probucol, a drug with LPO inhibitor potential, is able to reduce urinary protein excretion in rats with passive Heymann nephritis. In humans with MN, preliminary data also support this observation. It remains to be determined, however, if this intervention, which does not interfere with immune complex formation, will reduce the number of the patients reaching end-stage renal failure because of MN. In conclusion, lipids may contribute to glomerular injury in MN, as LPO might be an especially important factor, opening the possibility for new therapeutic interventions, thereby avoiding the side-effects of the currently used treatment regimen.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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